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GSSM Foundation to Honor Ambassador Nikki Haley, SC Department of Commerce & Team South Carolina

March 3, 2017

The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) Foundation will honor Ambassador Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Team South Carolina with the 2017 Townes Award during the Foundation’s 25th annual Townes Toast with a Twist event, Wednesday, March 15, 6-9:30 p.m. at the Downtown Columbia Marriott, 1200 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC, 29201.

Named for Dr. Charles H. Townes, South Carolina native and Nobel Laurate in physics, the Townes Award is presented annually to South Carolina businesses, institutions or individuals, who, like Dr. Townes, take aspirations of innovation and leadership to the highest level in areas such as research and development, technology, business, education or public service. 

“For the past six years, Ambassador Haley, the SC Department of Commerce and Team South Carolina have been the driving force behind an extremely successful economic development push in our great state,” said Kim Bowman, GSSM Foundation CEO. “Through innovative marketing, recruiting, research, relationship building and more, this dynamic team is responsible for $21.5 billion in capital investment. We are proud to honor them with this year’s Townes Award, while also paying tribute to the past 24 years of innovative honorees.”

Ambassador Haley is the current United States Ambassador to the United Nations. She served as the 116th Governor of South Carolina from January 2011 to January 2017. As Governor, Haley was committed to enhancing our state’s pro-business environment through a combination of incentives, infrastructure and workforce development and training. 

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agency, the SC Department of Commerce works to recruit new businesses and help existing businesses grow.

In an effort to bring South Carolina together and encourage an economic boom, Haley and the Department of Commerce created a unified front, known at Team South Carolina. They’ve ushered in a new era of economic revival in South Carolina packed with 85,613 jobs, 672 projects (more than half of which were expansions), and an unemployment rate down to 4.4 percent below the national average of 4.9 percent. 

In the words of Ambassador Haley, “It’s a great day to be in South Carolina.”

Tickets to the event are $195 for the general public and $165 for Business Leadership Network members. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 803.252.9152.

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