College Commission

Mr. W.H. "Ham" Hudson, of Seneca, is Chair of the Commission. He was appointed in 2001 to represent Oconee County on the Commission. He retired in 2003 as President and CEO of Oconee Memorial Hospital where he had served for 32 years. Upon his retirement, he was named President and CEO Emeritus.

Mr. Hudson is a former board member and chair of Palmetto Hospital Trust Services, Ltd., the South Carolina Hospital Association, and a former South Carolina delegate to the American Hospital Association. He received the S.C. Hospital Association's Merit Award in 1983, the Association's Distinguished Service Award in 1992, and the PHTS Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. He is a Life Fellow of The American College of Healthcare Executives, and a member of Seneca Baptist Church. He holds a B.A. in Business and Sociology from Limestone College and a Certificate in Hospital Administration from Charlotte Memorial Hospital in North Carolina.

Upon his retirement in 2003, he was inducted into The Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina.

Mr. Leon "Butch" Harris, of Anderson, is Vice Chair of the Commission. He was appointed to the Commission in 2008 to represent Anderson County. His appointment is through April 2014. He currently serves as chair of the finance committee and member of the building committee.

Mr. Harris began his career at Torrington (then Timken, now JTEKT/Koyo) in 1976 after earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Clemson University and has been a licensed Professional Engineer since 1981. He has worked in various engineering and management capacities at several plants in this region, including plant manager positions in Honea Path and Walhalla, SC, and Canton, GA. He is currently project manager for new business growth.

His professional and civic affiliations have included serving as chair of several local organizations, including the WorkLink workforce investment board, the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, the Laurens County United Way Campaign Committee, and the American Society for Metals upstate chapter. He is also past president of the Honea Path Civitan Club. He has served as a board member for the Honea Path Rescue Squad, Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce, Anderson County Vocational Rehabilitation Center, the Anderson County Business-Education Partnership, the Partnership for Academic & Career Education, and the Anderson County Local Emergency Planning Committee.

He, his wife Beth, and daughter Sarah are members of Concord Baptist Church in Anderson.


Mr. D. Pruitt Martin, of Anderson, is Secretary/Treasurer of the Commission. He was appointed to the Commission in 2004 and represents Anderson County. His appointment is through April 2, 2015.

Mr. Martin has 35 years of banking experience and is the Executive Vice President and Regional Manager for Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties for The Palmetto Bank. He holds a B. S. in Banking and Finance from the University of South Carolina and is a graduate of the School of Retail Bank Management at the University of Virginia.

He is a former member of the Anderson Rotary Club. He also is the former chairman of the Board of Directors for the Anderson Area YMCA, former president of the Anderson Country Club, and a member and past chairman of the Young Bankers Division of the South Carolina Bankers Association. He also has served on the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Mr. George Acker, of Pickens, was appointed to the Commission in April, 2009, to represent Pickens County. His term of service expires April, 2012. Mr. Acker is South Carolina Vice President for External Relations for Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC. Mr. Acker has been with Duke Energy since 1981 and has held positions in Greenville, Anderson, Columbia, and Spartanburg, in addition to Charlotte, NC.

His professional and civic affiliations include serving as a board member for Cannon Memorial Hospital, the Metropolitan Arts Council in Greenville and the Clemson Research Foundation. He is a member of the Spartanburg Rotary Club and the Spartanburg Chamber Economic Advisory Board, as well as the S.C. State Energy Advisory Committee. He serves as chairman of Upstate Alliance and is currently active in the Spartanburg Chamber Board , the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, and the S.C. State Chamber Board.

He is former chairman of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau and South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. He previously served on the boards of the Anderson Chamber of Commerce, Anderson Economic Partnership Executive Committee, the Greenville Symphony and the Better Business Bureau of the Foothills. He is past chair and president of the Pickens County United Way.

Mr. Acker is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned a master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Mr. William Milton Ponder III, of Dacusville, was appointed to the Commission in April 2010, to represent Pickens County. His term of service expires April 2013. Mr. Ponder served as director of school and community information and later as hearing officer and director of student services for the School District of Pickens County until his retirement in 2008. Ponder is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Law School and formerly worked as an attorney with the law firm of Finley, Ponder and Warlick. He is a retired colonel with the United States Army Reserve and is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association, Pickens County Bar Association, American Legion Post No. 11, Keowee Lodge No. 789 AFM, Fraternal Order of the Police and the board of directors of Pickens Savings and Loan Association. His past community affiliations include serving as president of the Pickens County United Way, chair of Pickens County Forestry Board, a member of the South Carolina Truancy Task Force, the Youth Advocate Program Board of Directors, Pickens County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, Rocky Bottom Camp for the Blind Advisory Board, and chair of the Pickens County Salvation Army Advisory Board

Mr. John Powell, of Walhalla, was appointed to the Commission in January, 2010 to represent Oconee County. He is the second alumnus in the history of the College to serve on its governing board.

Powell is the owner/broker of Powell Real Estate located in Walhalla, SC. He also owns a cattle farm and has been involved in the creation of 36 subdivisions, including being a partner in Falcon's Lair Golf Community in Walhalla. He also is a partner in eight Subway franchises in Upstate SC.

He serves on the Tri-County Technical College Alumni Association Board of Directors and is a longtime member of the Business Technology Advisory Committee. In 2009, he received Tri-County Technical College's Distinguished Alumni Award.

He is a past member of the Oconee Medical Center (OMC) Board of Directors and served as chairman from 1995 - 1998. He also chaired the OMC Building Committee, as well as the Oconee County School Task Force. He is a former member of the State Disabilities and Special Needs Board and currently serves on the board of directors for Table Rock Retreat Center and the Business-Education-Industry Organization in Oconee County.


Mr. Thomas Strange, of Easley, was appointed to the Commission in 2011 to represent Pickens County. His term expires April 2014.

Mr. Strange is senior director of research and development for St. Jude Medical in Liberty. Mr. Strange has an extensive background in materials science and is the author of forty-three patents and numerous papers over the last two decades, covering all aspects of capacitor development, with an emphasis on foil development for aluminum electrolytics. Over the last 14 years at St. Jude Medical, Mr. Strange and his team have been introducing new technologies that continue to define state of the art in implantable medical devices for both pacing and arrhythmia correction.

His honors and achievements include receiving the 1985 North American Philips Corporation (NAPC) Creative Innovator award, the highest honor for NAPC; the 1998 St. Jude Medical Hendrickson Award for his work on development of flat capacitors, the highest honor for St. Jude; and the 2001 InnoVision Award for technology development in Upstate South Carolina.

In 2002 he was appointed Economic Ambassador for Pickens County by Governor Jim Hodges. He received the St. Jude Medical Patent Hall of Fame award in 2005, the University of SC Distinguished Alumni in 2007 and the Dr. Charles Towns Individual Achievement Award in 2009.

After receiving his undergraduate degree and completing graduate studies in Physics at the University of South Carolina, he joined Philips Components as a member of the research staff. During his 15 years with Philips Components in Columbia, South Carolina, and two years with Aerovox, Inc., in Huntsville Alabama, he participated in or led the research activity involving the development of electrochemical and AC film capacitors. He was a member of a small team of entrepreneurs who, from 1994 to 1996, developed and produced the pioneering flat medical grade electrolytic capacitor that made thoracic implantable cardioverter defibrillators possible.

Mr. Strange serves on the board of directors for the Pickens Chapter of the American Red Cross (chair 2009, 2010); South Carolina Research Authority; SC Launch! (chair); InnoVision Technology Awards; and the Greenville Art Museum Association (president 2008).

He and his wife, Debra, have a son, Derek.

Mrs. Helen Rosemond Saunders, of Seneca, has represented Oconee County since 1993. In 1997, she was elected to serve as vice chair of the Commission and later served as chair from 2007-2011.

A veteran educator, she taught home economics in the public schools of Seneca for 20 years before becoming a guidance counselor at Seneca High School in 1986. She became Director of Guidance at the school in 1991 and retired from public education in 2005. Ms. Rosemond-Saunders is a life member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the oldest black sorority in the nation and has served as Cluster VIII Coordinator of the South Atlantic Region. She also has served as president and vice president of the Epsilon Tau Omega Chapter in Greenville, SC, and as graduate advisor of the Lambda Theta Chapter at Clemson University.

She was elected in 2012 to serve as a member of the Diversity Committee of the Association of Community College Trustees. She also serves as secretary for the S.C. Association of Technical College Commissioners; serves on the Oconee/Pickens Wachovia Board; is a member of Tri-County Technical College's Access and Equity Advisory Board; is past recording secretary of the National Alumni Association of South Carolina State University; and is a past board member of the Oconee County United Way.

She has a bachelor's degree in Home Economics from South Carolina State University, a master's degree in Nutritional Science from Clemson University, and 30-plus certification in Secondary School Guidance from Clemson University. She is a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Westminster.

Mr. J. Allard (Al) Young, of Honea Path, was appointed to the Commission in 2011 to represent Anderson County. His term expires April 2013.

Mr. Young is president and CEO of The Commercial Bank in Honea Path, a position he has held since 1996. Prior to that he was senior vice president of BB&T in Belton for 12 years and served as president of Latta Bank and Trust Company from 1977 - 84. He began his career in banking with First Citizens Bank and Trust in Dillon, SC, as a management trainee and was promoted to vice president.

Mr. Young is a member of the board and past president of the Independent Banks of South Carolina at the organization's annual convention. He is a former member of the board of directors for the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce and the Jennie Erwin Library. He is past president of the Watkins Community Center, Inc., is a member and past president of the Honea Path Civitans, and is a past chairman of the South Carolina Bankers Association Community Bankers Council. In 2000 and 2006 he was recognized as the Civitan of the Year by the Honea Path Civitans.

A native of Florence, he studied heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology at Florence Darlington Technical College and later graduated from the University of Alabama where he earned a bachelor of science degree in administrative sciences. He also is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University, the National Commercial Lending Graduate School at the University of Oklahoma, the Graduate School of Bank Investments at the University of Oklahoma and the South Carolina Bankers School at the University of South Carolina. In addition, Mr. Young served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves.

He is a member of Belton Presbyterian Church, where he serves as an elder. He is married to the former Judith Allen. They have a son, Carl, and a daughter, Carrie.

 

 

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