Mary Wright

Executive Director
(803) 422-5972

Mary became executive director of the Midlands Education and Business Alliance in April 2016. She earned her B.A. at Georgia State University in Leadership and Group Dynamics. Her passion for education initially led her to the public education classroom and position of director in preschools. It was then Mary realized the growing need to connect business communities with its educators for collective impact.

Her emphasis became filling the gaps in education experiences for children. She has served in non-profit for twelve years, is a visionary in seeing the potential of partnerships and has raised nearly 30 million dollars to advance the awareness of student needs and human services. Mary’s impressive skill set paired with her energy and dedication to our mission will ensure that MEBA remains the go-to resource for connecting business leaders and educators in our community.

Mary is a graduate of Columbia Urban League, Inc. 2013 Leadership Fellows Program, Leadership Lexington County 2015, served as a staff development presenter at USC Trio programs and presented at USC’s Women’s leadership conference. She has been nominated twice for AFP- Columbia Chapter fundraising executive of the year. She currently works with the MBLG talent team through Engenuity and serves with the CEDS committee at CMCOG. Mary volunteers on the Columbia Museum of Art Gala planning committee and serves on the Richland One Middle College Board of Directors.

Lisa D. Call, GCDFI

Regional Career Specialist & Senior Director, Education and Business Engagement
(803) 732-5258

Lisa Call has been with MEBA since 1999. She is one of 16 Regional Career Specialists in S.C. In this role, Lisa develops, coordinates and evaluates career awareness programs for elementary, middle and high school students, parents and educators. She also connects businesses and schools by developing extended learning opportunities, internships, co-ops and job shadowing opportunities for teachers and students.

Lisa brings six years of teaching experience in marketing education at Vidalia Comprehensive High School. She was awarded their teacher of the year 1999. She was also named Regional Career Specialist of the year 2016.

Lisa is a graduate of Marshall University, College of Education, having earned a B.A. in Marketing Education 9-12. Her industry certificates include Global Career Development Facilitator/Instructor(GCDF & GCDFI). She is also a certified “Bridges Out of Poverty” lifetime trainer. Lisa is a graduate of Leadership Lexington County and serves on several local and state boards, including South Carolina HOSA and the South Carolina Transportation Education Business Alliance.

Samantha Turner

Director, Workforce Development & Donor Relations
(803) 422-9856

Samantha has been with MEBA since 2008. She works to involve businesses and industries across the 16 career clusters to plan and develop career programs and activities for Midlands educators, students and parents. She discovers resources that foster collaboration related to current curriculum and work skills needed today and tomorrow.

Samantha analyzes labor market trends and provides strategies to develop a talented and prepared workforce.

She served as director of planned giving and major gifts with Columbia College where she also received her B.A. in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Organizational Change and Leadership. Samantha is also a certified Global Career Development Facilitator.

Linda Whitaker

Office & Database Manager
(803) 822-3778

Linda has been with MEBA since 1993. She serves as the office and database manager.  If there is a MEBA activity, there is Linda behind it.  She is the keeper of details and you will see her at the registration table for MEBA events.

She prepares and updates the superintendent reports, grant reports, maintains the website, creates directories, coordinates staff development, plans meetings, field studies, and continuing education courses.

Linda ensures the community mailings are correct and keeps the team organized.

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