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

March 17, 2017

The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) Foundation honored 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, 2017, at the Downtown Columbia Marriott. Accepting on behalf of the Ambassador was SC Governor Henry McMaster.

“Our Silver Anniversary Townes Dinner was a momentous occasion filled with passionate people dedicated to the ongoing prosperity of the Palmetto State,” said Kim Bowman, GSSM Foundation CEO. “We were honored to have Governor McMaster with us as he now carries the torch for moving economic development forward in our state, and we were proud to be in the company of Secretary Hitt and numerous past Townes Award recipients. Simply put, it was another great day to be in South Carolina.”

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.

Accepting the award on behalf of Ambassador Haley and the Department of Commerce were Governor Henry McMaster and Secretary Bobby Hitt.

“We are all Team South Carolina,” Hitt said. “We’re working together and it feels good.”

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. 

Pictured above from left to right: GSSM Foundation CEO Kim Bowman, GSSM Foundation Board of Directors Vice Chairman Steve Matthews, GSSM President Dr. Hector Flores, SC Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, GSSM Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Jim Lehman, and SC Governor Henry McMaster.

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