Ken Abernethy, Ph.D
Ken Abernethy received a BS with honors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and master's and PhD degrees from Duke University. He has 30 years of teaching and consulting experience. He is the Herman N. Hipp Professor of Computer Science. He was formerly the chair of the Computer Science Department at Furman University and is currently the director of Furman's Rushing Center for Teaching and Technology. His current professional interests are focused in the areas of software development methodologies, software reliability tools and methods, and software project management.

 

 


John Barker Ph.D.
John Barker is the Director of Career Services at Furman University, a position he has held for over 9 years.  He has also taught Human Resource Management as adjunct faculty in the Business Administration Department.

John’s previous employment includes seven years at the University of Alabama as Associate Director of the Career Center where he also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in career planning and counselor education.  In addition to his 15 years in college administration and teaching, John has 12 years experience in the corporate sector in sales and human resource management.

John has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, as well as a Master’s and Ph.D. in Counseling from the University of Alabama.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Association of Colleges and Employers and the Greenville Literacy Association.  In addition to numerous presentations at conferences on career and employment issues, John has published articles for professional journals and is the author of a college textbook on career planning.  He is certified in the administration and interpretation of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and has conducted numerous seminars on team-building using this instrument. 

 


Greg Blake
Greg Blake, BA and MS, is chief "encouragement" officer and founder of Greg PEP YOUniversity! A former leadership development specialist with Denny's, Greenville Hospital System and BMW, Blake's mission is to encourage people in corporate America. He has conducted national keynotes and training sessions with Ford, BASF, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, Duke University Medical Center, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and numerous healthcare organizations. Described as a 6'7" live wire by his peers and business colleagues, Blake engages his audiences and classes with an enthusiasm and presence that is contagious. He pursued his passion to encourage corporate America after meeting leaders and followers in organizations who had become disillusioned, disheartened, discouraged and disconnected because of the changes they were facing both personally and professionally. He conducts customized PEPtalks! (keynotes), PEP rallies! (encouragement retreats for leaders and teams), and PEP YOUniversity "granule" sessions on a variety of topics. Blake believes in an approach to training that is practical, applicable and memorable. He provides tips, tools and techniques that can be implemented immediately back at the work site.


Craig Bradenbaugh
Craig is Founder and President of Grace Associates, a performance development company established in 1997. His broad base of experience enables him to assist many types of organizations in their quest to improve performance and capitalize on corporate opportunities. Craig is an outstanding facilitator, trainer and leader with extensive experience in working with executives in analyzing and setting action plans to establish and achieve performance goals. He has received recognition for his work in government training programs from both domestic and international organizations. Craig has held positions of management and leadership in various types of organizations including manufacturing, service industries, hi-tech engineering and education. He is respected as a mentor and leader in business development and change management, with particular expertise in corporate strategy, leadership and project and process management. He received his bachelor of science in industrial engineering from Johns Hopkins University and his MBA from Loyola College in Maryland.

 


Fred Current
Fred is Associate Professor Emeritus at Furman University after a twenty-year teaching career. Known for his attention to and support of his students, in 1996 he was named recipient of the Alester G. and Janie Earle Furman Meritorious Advising Award. In 1990 he was selected as the Sears-Roebuck Foundation and the Foundation for Independent Higher Education Teaching Excellent and Campus Leadership Award. Fred also consulted with corporate and private professional clients on financial accounting training for non-accountants, his special area of interest. He completed his graduate studies at Michigan State University and was certified as in internal auditor. Upon his retirement, the Furman Board of Trustees established the Jane and Fred Current Accounting Award Endowed Fund. Prior to his years in academe, Fred served twenty years in the United States Air Force, retiring as a Lt. Colonel and Comptroller of Seymour-Johnson Air Force base, a major defense installation.

 


Mike Collins
Dr. "Mike" sets the standards for the type of person we should all strive to be.  This standard is set not only in his professional life but in his personal life as well. The multitude of friends that know him personally, can only sit back in amazement as Mike continues to meet goals many said four years ago could never be achieved.  An automobile accident left Mike Collins a quadriplegic.  Mike was determined from the onset that this would not hold him back and it certainly has not. He continues to push himself to limits most would never consider in regular workouts with physical and occupational therapists.  Personal caregivers enhance the workouts by aiding him at home, encouraging him to be as independent as possible.  Professionally, Dr. Mike continues to excel as well.  Nothing seems to hold him back.  He is a trainer, motivator, speaker, and consultant.  Mike acts as a consultant to many large firms, training management teams as well as aiding employees to realize their full potential within a company. Dr. Mike earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Science Degree from Baylor University and the Doctor of Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Mike is also a faculty member of Furman University’s Center for Corporate and Professional Development where he frequently presents leadership seminars to a variety of clients in the business and non-profit communities.

 

 








Sonny Eppes
Sonny Eppes is a senior associate with the Center for Corporate and Professional Development at Furman.  Sonny brings to the classroom a wealth of training experience and skills.  He has over three decades of training and presentation experience.  Eppes has served as the director of training and corporate communication for two internationally known companies: J.E. Sirrine Architectural & Engineering Company and also with Insignia Financial Services.  Sonny is currently a leadership development instructor with Competitive-Solutions, Inc., in Raleigh, North Carolina a national and international consulting firm.  His training philosophy is "if you are not having fun you are not learning."  In addition to training corporate leaders, Sonny is also a much requested after-dinner speaker for corporate holidays and special events.



Marianne E. Frederick, RPT, MHSA
Marianne received a BS from Ohio State University and a master's in health services administration from the Medical University of South Carolina. She is the president and WorkPlay coach for WorkPlay International. WorkPlay is a unique seminar and training organization focused on making learning fun. Her expertise is in using humor, laughter and a playful attitude to help people accomplish their goals. Since receiving her MHSA from the Medical University of South Carolina, she has transitioned from physical therapist to professional speaker/trainer and WorkPlay coach.

 


Gregory W. Haselden, CPA
Greg Haselden is an accountant and educator who has served both for-profit and not-for-profit business concerns for over 10 years. As an accountant, Greg's areas of responsibility have spanned from general accounting services for small local businesses to auditing national middle-market public companies. In the classroom, Greg brings a "real life" experience that animates the learning experience of students. Greg received a BA degree with honors in accounting from Furman University. He is a licensed certified public accountant in the State of South Carolina, and he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (SCACPA). Greg currently services as the Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina, in addition to regularly teaching as an adjunct instructor for Furman University's Undergraduate Evening Studies.

 

   
Jo Jorgensen, Ph.D.
Jo Jorgensen understands the needs of CEOs because she has been there.She was part owner and later served as President of DigiTech, Inc., a software duplication firm that grew to 25 employees and did $2 million worth of business for companies like NCR, AT&T, and Rockwell Automation.

Her business career began at IBM as a Marketing Representative, after earning her MBA at SMU.She left IBM to start her own company, which provided computer hardware and software to the accounting industry in parts of South Carolina and North Carolina.This eventually led her to the software duplication business, where she ran a successful business for almost a decade before beginning her consulting career.

Enjoying the challenges of running her own business, Dr. Jorgensen pursued her interest in discovering how to create the best work environments, in which employers and employees work toward the common goal of providing the best customer service given the usual limitations found in business.With this in mind, she received her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology to begin consulting.

Services

Drawing on the experiences of running her own company along with her graduate degrees in business and organizational psychology, Dr. Jorgensen assists CEOs in improving the productivity of their employees.Her services range from short-term coaching engagements to large-scale projects.

With one-on-one coaching, she can guide managers and executives to increased performance by addressing specific concerns such as delegation, teamwork, time management, and eliminating roadblocks that hold leaders back.She also tackles larger projects such as increasing company productivity and helping select the right employees for the right jobs.Large project or small, Dr. Jorgensen always begins by examining the needs to make sure the right project is proposed.
 
Kim Keefer

Kim has been involved in leadership education for twelve years. She developed and currently operates Furman's student leadership programs and Furman's Peak Performance Adventure Challenge Course. Leading groups through team building experiences is her passion. Kim is a certified Challenge Course manager and facilitator and a qualified instructor for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. In addition, she serves the Greenville community on the Board of Regents for Leadership Greenville.
 
Kathy Kegley, Ph.D


Kathy Kegley is the founder and principal consultant of Synchlora LLC, a consulting business dedicated to developing human capacity at the individual, team and organizational levels.  She is also adjunct faculty in the school of business at Clemson University.  Kathy holds and B.S. in chemistry, an M.S. in computer science, a Ph.D. in computer engineering with an emphasis in artificial intelligence, and has recently earned a second M.S. in plan and environmental science.  With Kathy's expertise in creative problem solving, her work is based on her core beliefs that everyone has a unique capacity for creative thinking, and that each individual or group can use this capacity to develop effective, insightful and innovative solutions to problems.  She has extensive experience developing online instruction using technology to deliver media-rich, learner-centered content in diverse areas including management, computer applications, bioformatics, plant science, and creative inquiry.  Kathy's passion is to partner with organizations who want to develop creative solutions to difficult problems and work with them through all phases of the solution development life-cycle. 
 












Robert O. King, Esq.

Bob King is a shareholder in Olgletree Deakins law firm's Greenville office.  He has been actively engaged in the private practice of law since 1974.  Since that time he has handled cases involving labor relations, wage-hour, employee benefits, environmental and equal employment opportunity law before state and federal courts and state and federal administrative agencies.  King has worked on numerous complicated electronic discovery issues in connection with litigation and subpoena compliance, and he served on a speacial internal committee that helped the law firm implement and deal with new electronic discovery rules and procedures.  King now serves on the Records Retention and E-Discovery Practice Group.  He holds a B.A. from Furman University (1968), an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina (1969) and J.D. from the College of William and Mary (1974).  King is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and is a South Carolina Super Lawyer.


Susan Lill, SPHR, CHRP

Susan has 17 years of HR leadership experience in several industries including manufacturing, information technology and financial services in both Canada and the United States. She has led organizations in strategic planning and process improvement, including total quality management; Six Sigma; process mapping and metrics; diversity initiatives; management training; culture awareness and technology implementations. Susan is a certified Six Sigma green belt, certified project manager and a partner in AERIE Engineering. She is focused on helping businesses align their human-resource systems and processes with its mission and objectives.

John Meindl
John Meindl is a senior associate with the Center for Corporate and
Professional Development at Furman and an adjunct professor in the
Undergraduate Evening Studies program where he teaches marketing, corporate entrepreneurialism, business sustainability, operations and strategic management. Meindl is a partner in several private equity and investment firms that provide significant financial as well as managerial support to the client. His past clients include Palatine Capital, Crosswalk.com, Battlefield Group, Greenville First Bank, Frontier Partners, Jurda GMBH, GT Holdings, ItalianoXO, Awesomestories.com, Green Earth Environmental, CHO, and M&T Realty.

Meindl has had a career in business for more than 30 years, including positions in the government, Securities & Exchange Commission as a financial economist, Fortune 500 Insurance and Financial Services Companies in mergers and acquisitions, international sales and new venture start-ups. Meindl serves and has served on several private and public boards of directors providing expertise in strategy formulation, technology and sustainability. He holds a master’s in finance from American University and postgraduate work in leadership and entrepreneurialism from the Wharton School.


Sean Patrick O'Rourke, Ph.D.
Sean Patrick O'Rourke is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Furman University and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies. He received his J.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. Prof. O'Rourke teaches courses in the History of Rhetoric, Contemporary Rhetorical Theory, British and American Public Address, Freedom of Speech, the Ethics of Rhetoric, the Rhetoric of Law and Justice, and the Rhetoric of the Mass Media.

O'Rourke's articles and reviews have appeared in Legal Studies Forum, Rhetorica, Journal of the American Forensic Association, Southern Communication Journal, Communication Reports, Journal of the Early Republic, The American Journal of Legal History, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, Canadian Journal of Rhetorical Studies/La Revue Canadienne d'etudes rhetoriques, The Forensic, Court Call, and Free Speech Yearbook, as well as several anthologies and conference proceedings.

He has also published pieces in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Post, Seattle Times, [Portland] Oregonian, San Diego Union-Tribune, Birmingham News, Hartford Courant, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune, [Louisville] Courier-Journal, and other daily newspapers. Dr. O’Rourke is currently working on two books, one on Hugh Blair and the other on early Supreme Court orators.  He has also developed many seminars over the past twenty-one years while consulting with the United States Forest Service, Pacific Gas & Electric, the College News Association of the Carolinas, Metropolitan Group [of Portland, OR], C-Span, and other groups.

 


Cathy Edwards Ovington
Cathy’s dedication to Client-Focused Selling comes from over 20 years of success with this sales approach. She has delivered hundreds of sales workshops based on this process, which focuses, from start to finish, on understanding and meeting your clients’ most critical needs. She also facilitates strategy sessions focused on effectively positioning and marketing your products and services. Cathy has an MBA in Computer Applications and Information Systems from NYU, and a BA degree in English from Lafayette College. She has studied in Mexico at The University of the Americas. Clients include CMP Media, Disney, Int’l Association for Exhibition Management, Inc. Magazine, Putman Media, Sears, The Times-Mirror Company and US West. Prior to consulting, Cathy was with Ziff-Davis for ten years, where she developed and directed sales and marketing staffs; collaborated with management teams to develop strategic marketing plans; and traveled extensively in Europe to consult in marketing development and sales training for new business ventures.

 


Scott Simmerman, PhD

 

Scott Simmerman is an internationally known presenter and developer of team building exercises and interactive programs focused on organizational change. He is the former chair of the Upstate Chapter of the American Society for Quality and a frequent presenter at training and quality conferences worldwide including AQP, IAF, ASTD and many others. A former professor of psychology at Furman, he has been consulting and training since 1978 and has presented in 29 countries. Scott has been senior vice president of operations for a major retail firm, human resource director for a small retail chain and has been in business as a professional consultant and trainer here in Greenville since 1984. He holds an MS degree in psychology from Iowa State University and received his PhD from UNC Chapel Hill in 1976.

 


Harry Shucker, Ed.D.
Dr. Shucker received his B.A. degree in history from Furman University in 1966. After graduation, he served two years in the Army including a tour of duty in Vietnam. Dr. Shucker returned to Furman in 1968 to begin his career in higher education as an Admissions Counselor. In 1971, he attended the University of Georgia and received his M.Ed. in Student Personnel Services in August of 1972. While at the University of Georgia , he was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Dr. Shucker returned to Furman in fall of 1972 as Director of Financial Aid. In 1974, he became Director of Residential Living and remained in that position until he was appointed Director of Student Life in 1983. In 1985, Dr. Shucker was promoted to Vice President for Student Services and was awarded the Ed.D. in Student Personnel Services from the University of South Carolina in 1987. From 1991 to 1996, he served as an adjunct faculty member for the University of South Carolina and currently serves on Clemson University’s Counselor Education Advisory Board. Recently, Dr. Shucker was recognized by having a Furman endowed scholarship named in his honor and an endowed scholarship named in his honor by Phi Eta Sigma, National Honor Society. As the result of his professional contributions to higher education, he was selected to receive the University of Georgia’s Outstanding Masters Alumni Award, the Goldberg Medal from the Associated Colleges of the South, and the Melvene Draheim Hardee Award from the Southern Association of College Student Affairs.

 

 


Hy Small

 

Hy Small has conducted over 500 seminars to more than 50,000 professionals internationally and has over 20 years of proven experience in designing and implementing leadership training, employee involvement, and continuous improvement culture change processes that have increased organizational productivity, teamwork, and total quality. Hy has worked with hospitality, manufacturing, car rental, correctional systems, US Department of Defense, hospital systems, banks, non-profits, city governments, law enforcement, colleges, small businesses, chambers of commerce, and public utilities just to name a few. Hy has a strong background in team facilitation, group dynamics, and public presentation skills. He is experienced with developing user surveys, establishing performance standards and measurement processes in both public and private, union and non-union organizations. Hy holds a Masters Degree from Sam Houston State University and a BS Degree in Secondary Education from Temple University. He has taught at the middle school, high school, college, and corporate university levels and is currently working on his first book "Positive Personnel Selection Process: How to Select Employees for Fun and Profit."

 


Tom Smythe, PhD

 

Tom Smythe is the Robert E. Hughes Professor of Economics and Business Administration at Furman. Prior to arriving at Furman in the fall of 2001, he taught undergraduate and graduate banking and financial markets and institutions at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He received his PhD in finance from the University of South Carolina in 1999. Prior to returning to school full time in 1996, Tom worked for Mobil Oil Corporation in Fairfax, Virginia, for seven years. During that time, he obtained his master's in business administration from George Mason University. Prior to working for Mobil, Tom spent four years as an engineering officer in the U.S. Army after graduating from Furman with a degree in mathematics in 1985. Tom's research interests include mutual funds, corporate governance issues and banking. His work has been cited in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times and has been published in a wide range of practitioner and academic journals. Additionally, he is a frequent commentator on business issues for upstate print and television media outlets.

 

 
Skip Spooner

Skip Spooner has actively practiced law for the past 38 years with concentration in employment related issues.  He is the past chair of the Employment and Labor Law Section of the South Carolina Bar Association and former president of Daugherty Judicial Circuit.  He has served as a member of the South Carolina Bar, State Bar of Georgia, Greenville County Bar, and Board of Governors; The author of "Balancing the Management and Property Rights of the Employer Against Employee's Section 7 Rights," 1982 thesis submitted for masters of law degree; and frequent speaker on labor and employment laws and other related issues.  Skip holds a B.B.A.from the University of Georgia; a J.D. and L.L.M. from the University of Georgia, School of Law; and is a Certified Civil Mediator in Federal and State Courts.

 


Ellen S. Stevenson

 

Ellen has more than 25 years of experience in leadership and organization development in a number of positions as an internal and external consultant. She has proven ability to manage both process and task issues. This flexibility enables her to respond effectively to management and employees at all levels. Prior to starting Optimal Performance, she held management positions in manufacturing operations with JP Stevens/West Point Pepperel. She holds a BS from Cornell University and a master of science in education focused on the adult learner from Marywood College. She is a certified instructor in numerous programs and has conducted training for audiences around the world.

 


Fred W. Suggs, Jr., Esq.
Fred limits his practice to labor and employment law and is certified as a specialist in this field by the South Carolina Supreme Court. He has extensive experience, including advising clients in preventive measures to avoid formal charges and lawsuits; handling union campaigns; negotiating collective bargaining agreements; and representing clients before the National Labor Relations Board and before the United States Courts of Appeal. Fred frequently lectures before professional and civic groups on topics relating to his area of practice. He has published numerous articles on labor law in business and legal publications. He is a member of the Alabama, Florida and South Carolina Bars, as well as the Bars of several federal district courts, courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States. He is one of only five South Carolina lawyers who are Fellows in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.

 

   H. Bernard Tisdale III, Esq.
 
As a shareholder with Ogletree Deakins law firm, Bernard has extensive experience in employment litigation, including workers' compensation defense, and OSHA compliance. This experience ranges from appearing before the North and South Carolina, and Virginia workers' compensation commissions, advising clients on OSHA compliance issues, and defending employers in general civil litigation, to handling individual employment discrimination cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the federal courts as well as handling wrongful discharge and other employment-related litigation in state and federal courts. A 1983 graduate of Clemson University with a degree in chemical engineering, Tisdale graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1989.

 


Shannon W. Wilson

 

Shannon received a BS degree from Furman University and served as Furman's Alumni Director from 1998 to 2002. She holds a business etiquette certificate from the highly regarded Protocol School of Washington and in 2002 began her own consulting business in the areas of international protocol and business etiquette. Shannon believes that proper business etiquette is an invaluable component in building and maintaining strong business and personal relationships. Her extensive experience in relationship building at Furman and enthusiasm for her subject have quickly established Shannon's reputation as a knowledgeable facilitator who turns what many perceive a staid and stodgy topic into an enjoyable and exciting presentation.

 



Lucy Woodhouse

Lucy Woodhouse, a native of Greenville, graduated from Wofford College in 1990 and worked for Congresswoman Liz Patterson, the
Peace Center for the Performing Art, and South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts during the next five years. From 1995 to 1999 she served as the first executive director for Habitat Humanity in Georgetown County and founder of Service Over Self, an nonprofit dedicated to bringing young people’s energy together with non-profit agencies’ needs. After moving to Davidson, North Carolina in 2000, Woodhouse worked as freelance grant writer and publications specialist with a client list that included universities and non-profit agencies across the Carolinas. Before coming to Furman in June of 2008 as the director of the Osher LifeLong Learning Institute (OLLI @ Furman), Woodhouse served four years as a senior development officer for Crisis Assistance Ministry where she managed foundation and mid-level donor relations along with coordination of all direct mail campaigns for the $12 million budget agency.



M. Baker Wyche III, Esq.
A practicing attorney for 30 years, Baker has extensive experience in the fields of litigation, labor relations and employment law. His experience includes providing advice to employers in various industry groups about human resource management, strategic planning, risk analysis, and employment litigation defense. Baker has provided counsel to employers during union campaigns, representation elections and decertifications as well as to employers faced with a bargaining obligation. His experience includes arbitration of numerous disputes arising under collective bargaining agreements and under employment and severance agreements. Elected to The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Baker graduated from Vanderbilt University, where he received a doctor of jurisprudence degree and BA degree, with a major in business administration and minor in economics.

 


Robyn Zimmerman
Robyn has worked in broadcast journalism for 15 years in Spartanburg and Tucson, Arizona, and for South Carolina ETV. She also directed communication departments and served as spokesperson for several state agencies. She was appointed to serve as press secretary for Governor David Beasley in 1995. She currently is the manager of Public Relations for the Greenville Hospital System, where she oversees all internal and media and community relations. She is an adjunct professor at Furman where she teaches advocacy and organizational communications. She holds a BA in speech from Florida State University and an MA in communications from the University of Michigan. Zimmerman's areas of expertise are media relations, public speaking, and business and organizational communications.

 

Staff

 

Brad Bechtold, Ed.D
Dr. Brad Bechtold is Executive Director of Continuing Education and the Center for Corporate and Professional Development at Furman University. He has 19 years of experience in the design, delivery and evaluation of human resource and organizational development programs for a variety of corporate clients including General Electric, Caterpillar, Amoco Performance Products, RBC Insurance, Michelin North America, the City of Greenville, Mitsubishi, Fluor Corporation, Hitachi, Bowater, BMW, Lockheed, and Cryovac.
Brad received his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Furman University. He earned a master of science in industrial and organizational psychology and the doctor of education with an emphasis in human resource development from Clemson University. Brad has served in both membership and board positions for the United Way, Greenville Society for Human Resources Management, the American Society for Training and Development, and the University Center of Greenville. Brad is also a graduate of Leadership Greenville (Class XXIV) and the Richard W. Riley Institute's Diversity Leadership Academy (Class IV).

 

 
Alison Search
Alison has been a member of the Furman Community since 2008.  She is the department assistant for the Center for Corporate and Professional Development.  Her responsibilities include organizing corporate and professional development seminars, workshops, and interacting with corporate client organizations.  Alison is also responsible for organizing all professional development seminars and training for Furman's faculty and staff.  She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a Masters in Human Resource Development from Clemson University. 

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