Successful On the Table Initiative Sparks Productive Dialogue across Region

October 29, 2018

On Oct. 24, 2018, thousands of Richland and Lexington County residents, organizations, and local businesses gathered together for the inaugural On the Table day of conversations. The initiative, powered by Central Carolina Community Foundation – the Midlands’ center for philanthropy – brought thousands of people together at different tables across the two counties for a unique opportunity to share their thoughts on how to make our communities stronger and inspire action across a diverse group of community members.

On the Table, Powered by Central Carolina Community Foundation

Equipped with a hosting toolkit provided by the Community Foundation, over 100 table hosts, including area residents, nonprofits, and local business leaders assembled in homes, parks, restaurants and other community spaces to guide discussions. Included within the toolkit were hosting tips and suggested discussion questions that could be used to spark conversation. The hosts and participants were also encouraged to select their own topics, issues, and ideas to discuss. Discussion topics ranged from overcoming racial divisions to supporting area businesses and encouraging engagement in the arts.

“We are inspired and uplifted by the enthusiastic response to our first On the Table day of conversations,” says JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “The discussions were as diverse as the individuals participating yet there was a common theme – how do we create a community where everyone can contribute and everyone can thrive?  We look forward to compiling and sharing the results from the participant surveys in early February.”

From Individual Conversations to a Movement

After each conversation, participants were encouraged to complete a brief online survey about their On the Table experiences and the topics they discussed. The survey results will be compiled by national research partners Hart Research Firm and Public Opinion Strategies, and the Community Foundation will release a community report to the public in February 2019. The results also will be shared with community leaders, elected officials, and other decision-makers to help provide a deeper understanding of the conversations and inform how decisions about our communities are made in the months and years ahead. Participants of On the Table can take the survey online at https://onthetablecola.org/take-the-survey.

Rooted in a National Initiative

The goal of On the Table, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of a national initiative, is to gather area residents from all walks of life, ages, and backgrounds and create a momentum that turns productive dialogue into meaningful action.

On the Table, Powered by Central Carolina Community Foundation replicates an annual civic engagement initiative of the same name developed by The Chicago Community Trust in 2014. Since then, the initiative has fostered civic engagement and generated hundreds of actionable ideas from tens of thousands of Chicago-area residents. 

The initiative has also been replicated nationally in more than 25 communities across the nation, including 12 cities also supported by Knight Foundation over the past two years, including Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Georgia; Lexington, KY; and Miami, FL.

Support for On the Table, Powered by Central Carolina Community Foundation advances Knight Foundation’s work to help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity, and create a culture of civic engagement. Knight Foundation believes that successful communities are equitable, inclusive, and participatory.

On the Table is helping to create a network of engaged residents and problem-solvers in cities across the nation. Through it, we hope to discover new lessons in people-focused city-building, rooted in consensus and common ground,” said Lilly Weinberg, Knight Foundation director for community foundations.  

For more information visit www.onthetablecola.org or call 803.254.5601.

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Cherise Arrendale

Strategic Initiatives & Communications Manager

Cherise implements and monitors all marketing, communications and public relations efforts by the Foundation. She also develops strategies to build brand awareness, manages the Foundation’s online presence, and oversees Midlands Gives, the Foundation’s 24-hour annual giving day.

An Atlanta native, Cherise has a Master of Business Administration degree from USC's Moore School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in music from Furman University. She previously worked for the Peace Center for the Performing Arts and the SC Governor's School for Arts and Humanities. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, playing in a local community band and spending time with her husband and their fluffy Maine Coon cat.

Inquiry from the media? Seeking information about Midlands Gives? Contact Cherise.

(803) 254-5601 x317

cherise@yourfoundation.org

Cortney Bailey

Program Associate

Cortney manages the granting process for all donor advised funds and corporate competitive grants. She also supports all functions within the Foundation by ensuring that policies, procedures and best practices for the database are followed and producing timely reports using this data.

Cortney comes to the Foundation with seven years of prior nonprofit experience. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and enjoys spending her free time with her two wonderful daughters. Her hobbies include woodworking, pottery and relaxing at the beach.

Looking to recommend a grant from your donor advised fund? Or seeking information about competitive grants for Aflac, Sonoco, or Hootie & the Blowfish? Reach out to Cortney.

(803) 254-5601 x332

cortney@yourfoundation.org

Jamie Bray

Advancement Administrative Associate

Jamie is responsible for providing clerical support and event administration for the Advancement Team and supporting other administrative needs across departments. 

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Jamie attended college at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Columbia in Spring of 2017. Jamie enjoys walking her German Shepherd mix dog, spending time with family, and playing sand volleyball.

Contact Jamie to RSVP to Foundation events.

 

803-254-5601

Jamie@yourfoundation.org

Brooke Dickerson

Administrative Associate

Brooke provides administrative and clerical support for the President & CEO and the Board of Trustees.  She assists with data entry, grant tracking, database management and grantee mailings.  

Brooke is a native of Douglasville, Georgia. She comes to the Community Foundation with previous administrative experience both in Georgia and for a nonprofit in Rochester, New York. Brooke volunteers with youth at the Department of Juvenile Justice. In her spare time, she can be found spending time with family and friends, joining them in cheering for her favorite baseball and college football teams.

Need to update your contact information or have a question about a gift? Give Brooke a call.

(803) 254-5601 x329

brooke@yourfoundation.org

Erin E. Johnson

Vice President for Community Investment

Erin leads the Foundation’s efforts to increase our impact in the Midlands. She oversees competitive grantmaking, scholarship programs, and program-related initiatives, such as Connected Communities. She also implements community engagement strategies that help connect community needs and opportunities with available resources.

Erin previously served as the Chief Community Investment Officer for South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.  She is a proud alumni of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and  University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In her spare time, Erin enjoys watching the Tar Heels and Carolina Panthers, reading and spending time with her husband Shawn and daughters Maya and Nina.

Contact Erin for information about the Foundation’s grantmaking or community engagement.

(803) 254-5601 x322

erin@yourfoundation.org

James Mercado, II

Senior Program Associate

James supports the Foundation through the execution of communication strategies. He works to advance the Foundation’s strategic objectives by creating and monitoring communication campaigns across the Foundation’s communication platforms.

A Northern Virginia native, James earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Radford University and has several years of marketing and nonprofit experience.  In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife, Haylee, and their three kids, Hayden, James III, and Harper.

Questions about the Foundation’s social media or website? Or have a story you want to tell? Give James a call.

(803) 254-5601 x316

james@yourfoundation.org

Kevin L. Patten

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Kevin manages fund balances and investment information for donors, local organizations and agency endowments and directs all finance and accounting functions of the Foundation. He also oversees human resources and office administration for the Foundation.

Kevin earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD. He is an avid sports fan and can frequently be found rooting for the Miami Hurricanes and spending time with his wife and four children.

Reach out to Kevin for more information about the Foundation’s investment policies, audit inquiries, securities, and other non-cash gifts.

(803) 254-5601 x325

kevin@yourfoundation.org

Jamesha Shackerford

Program Associate

Jamesha oversees the scholarship administrative process by working closely with scholarship fundholders and students. She also works with the Vice President for Community Investment to support the Connected Communities grant initiative and provides logistical support to the Community Impact Committee.

A South Carolina native, Jamesha earned a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Columbia College and minored in dance, an interest she still pursues. She enjoys spending her spare time with family and friends.

Contact Jamesha for information or help with scholarships, Connected Communities applications and reports or the Foundation’s due diligence process.

(803) 254-5601 x301

jamesha@yourfoundation.org

Heather Sherwin

Vice President for Advancement

Heather works with donors to set up charitable funds and collaborates with professional advisors and their clients to fulfill their philanthropic goals. She is responsible for promoting awareness and support for the Foundation among its varied constituencies. She leads the overall communication, public relations and donor relations strategy. Heather also serves as a resource for charitable planning in the Midlands community.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Heather held fundraising positions with Cleveland Museum of Art, Great Lakes Theater, American Red Cross, Hawken School and The Masters School. While living in Cleveland, Ohio, her hometown, Heather was the third generation to lead her family foundation, The Sherwick Fund, a fund of The Cleveland Foundation. In Columbia, Heather and her life partner, Buddy Register, are currently renovating an historic home in Elmwood.

Contact Heather about starting a fund at the Foundation or for information about planned giving.

(803) 254-5601 x331

heather@yourfoundation.org

Kim Turnipseed

Accounting Manager

Kim supports the finance team with the ongoing financial and accounting responsibilities of the Foundation.  She handles the day to day accounting functions and fund management of the Foundation, along with analyzing, evaluating and recommending process improvements.

She comes to the Foundation with over 20 years of accounting experience, earning her degree in Accounting from Columbia College.

In her free time, Kim enjoys spending time with her three children, seven grandchildren, family, and 1 dog.

Questions regarding fund statements or invoices, contact Kim.

803-254-5601 x330

kim@yourfoundation.org

JoAnn M. Turnquist

President & CEO

Named president and CEO in 2009, JoAnn works closely with her board of trustees and staff to develop and implement the vision and strategic direction of the Foundation.  She leads a team dedicated to helping individuals, families, businesses and nonprofit organizations establish charitable funds to support causes they care about and make a difference in the Midlands and beyond.

Before joining CCCF, JoAnn served as Vice President for Institutional Sales at The Clorox Company and Johnson Diversey. She is 2013 Riley Diversity Fellow.  JoAnn received the SC Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Community Diversity Award in 2014 and the Engenuity SC Vision Award in 2016. JoAnn enjoys cycling, swimming and reading. She and her husband Ernie are avid golfers and amateur chefs. They share their home and hearts with three dogs and two cats.

Contact JoAnn to learn about the Foundation’s strategic vision or if you have an opportunity for collaboration in the community.

(803) 254-5601 x323

joann@yourfoundation.org

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