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Meet Diana Kambanis: Mrs. Chapin 2022

In March, I introduced you to one of our residents who was chosen as Mrs. Captial City 2022.

Today, meet another constituent competing in the same pageant.

Diana Kambanis, a local Chapin resident and mother to 4 beautiful girls, was recently chosen to represent Chapin, as Mrs. Chapin, in the upcoming Mrs. South Carolina pageant. The pageant is to be held on June 25th at the Newtons Performing Arts Center in North Carolina. Diana loves Chapin and feels very blessed and proud to call it her home. Her four daughters attend Lake Murray Elementary School and Chapin Intermediate School and they are members of Chapin United Methodist Church. She loves gardening, exercising, travelling and spending time with her family.

Diana graduated from law school and worked in the legal field from 2011 to 2021. In 2021, after having undergone various health problems and after having four children, Diana realized what a need there is for advocates in women’s health, and so she decided to change over to nursing. She is currently studying nursing and hopes to one day become a midwife and provide health care to women who do not have access to the health care services that they need.

Diana hopes to win the Mrs. South Carolina pageant and to go on and compete in the Mrs. America pageant. She would love to use this pageant as a platform to reach women in need of support and care, whether it be mentally or physically.

If you have a charity or event that you would like Diana to get involved with, please feel free to contact her via email at dianakambanis@gmail.com.

If you or your business would like to sponsor Diana for the upcoming Mrs. South Carolina pageant, it would be greatly appreciated and your donation will allow for your logo and business name to be showcased in the program book and on social media. Please contact and follow Diana at her Facebook page @Diana Kambanis – Mrs. Chapin 2022.

Meet Krisdee Clark: Mrs. Capital City America 2022

Haven’t added to my “Meet your Neighbor” series in a while! It’s time…..

Chapin resident and Irmo native, Krisdee Clark, was recently chosen as Mrs. Capital City America 2022 and will be competing in the Mrs. South Carolina and Mrs. North Carolina pageant on June 25, 2022 in Newton, North Carolina. The winner of the Mrs. South Carolina title travels the Palmetto State promoting her personal platform and promoting the ideals of the pageant organization and goes on to compete at the national level in the Mrs. America Pageant in August 2022. The winner of the coveted Mrs. America crown will travel across the country making personal appearances and promoting her platform to a national audience during her year’s reign and will represent our country in the Mrs. World Pageant.

Krisdee grew up in Lexington Richland District 5 attending Harbison West Elementary, Irmo Middle School, Irmo High School and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in the number one ranked Sport and Entertainment Management college at USC. She has 2 children, Annabelle and Knox, and she and her husband Josh live on Lake Murray in Chapin. She is the Director of Corporate Affairs for Agape Care Group, the largest hospice in South Carolina and now moving into Georgia. Krisdee is a recent breast cancer survivor and is thrilled to bring her platform of breast cancer awareness and how women can thrive and feel beautiful after life’s storms to the state and hopefully national stage. “Sometimes God will put a Goliath in our lives for you to be able to find the David within you. It is so important that women know they can go through storms in their lives like breast cancer and come out the other side beautiful and with a greater purpose then they could have ever imagined. We should all be looking not to just survive the storm but to thrive after.” During her journey with breast cancer and having a bi lateral mastectomy, 4 rounds of chemotherapy and 25 rounds of radiation she began the blog The Blonde Bombshell (www.theblondebombshell.net) to help women find everyday answers in their journey with this same disease. “One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. I found that I was able to get medical information and high level ideas of what I would be going through but I was desperately searching for real women with real answers that had walked this walk before me. The Blonde Bombshell blog is not only my personal journey but it is my way of helping the women that come after me to understand this journey from someone who has lived it and to give hope that life on the other side, though different, can be wonderful again.”

You can request Krisdee to speak at events about her journey, her platform, hospice care or to make appearances as Mrs. Capital City by calling 803-904-0323. If you or your business would like to sponsor Krisdee in her road to the Mrs. South Carolina crown your donation will allow for your logo and business name to be showcased in the program book and on social media. Please contact and follow Krisdee at her Instagram page @mrscapitalcity2022.

Meet your newest District 5 Board Member: Tifani Moore


From WLTX website

IRMO, S.C. — Voters in Lexington-Richland School District Five selected a new school board member in a special election held on Tuesday.

In unofficial results from the Richland County Election Commission, Tifani Moore won the election with 2,322 votes, 56.18% of votes cast. The election results will be officially certified on Friday.

Tifani Moore is the Development Director of LRADAC (Lexington Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council). Moore is a mother of three children, who attended Lexington-Richland Five schools, and is a member of the Dutch Fork Middle School improvement council (2020-2021). For additional info, visit District 5 website

On her Facebook page, Moore said: “My goal is to bring transparency and sensible decision-making to the school board with a keen focus on supporting all of our students in District Five and the outstanding professional educators and staff in Lex-Rich Five.”

On her Facebook page, Moore said: “My goal is to bring transparency and sensible decision-making to the school board with a keen focus on supporting all of our students in District Five and the outstanding professional educators and staff in Lex-Rich Five.”

Three candidates were vying for the seat on the Lexington-Richland District Five school board — Haley Griggs, Jeffrey Herring and Tifani Moore.

The seat was vacated by Ed White, who resigned in protest after former Superintendent Christina Melton stepped down in June.

News from last night’s School Board Meeting

I was shocke to hear the news from last night’s meeting. Dr. Melton’s departure means our district will have our 7th Superintendent in the past 16 years.

From The State

Just weeks after she was named South Carolina superintendent of the year , Christina Melton has resigned as superintendent of Lexington-Richland 5.

An emotional Melton made the announcement at the end of Monday’s school board meeting, after board members met in an executive session and one member resigned mid-meeting.

Melton said her last day as superintendent will be June 30.

“This is a bittersweet message,” said Melton who called Lexington-Richland 5 her home and the staff and faculty there her family. “It truly is a privilege to lead District 5. … We’ve been tested, but we are resilient and student-centered.”

Vice chairman Ken Loveless, presiding over the meeting, accepted Melton’s resignation and said the board will hold a special meeting in the future to replace her by July 1. He said the district wishes Melton well.
Melton had been with Lexington-Richland 5 for more than a decade, starting as an elementary school principal. She won principal of the year in 2012 and district-level administrator of the year in 2016 from the S.C. Association of School Administrators. Just last month she was named S.C. superintendent of the year.

School board member Ed White announced during the meeting that he was resigning from the school board because of his disagreements with the school district’s handling of Melton’s resignation. White then got up and left the room.

After the meeting, Melton quickly left the room with other staff members for an adjoining room where crying could be heard.

CRITICIZED FOR COVID RESPONSE

Despite her accomplishments, Melton was criticized by some parents for her cautious response to the COVID-19 pandemic. School board members were criticized for deferring to Melton on when and how students could return to in-person classes at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

After the school board elections in November shook up the board majority, Lexington-Richland 5 starting moving more quickly to return to normal operations. When the board decided to move forward with a reopening timetable against Melton’s advice, it led to student protests and a walk-out of teachers at three district high schools that caused the schools to close.

For more from The State, click here.

For Dr. Melton’s statement, click here .

Meet your Dutch Fork Silver Foxes (Football): July 31st

SAVE THE DATE: Meet your Dutch Fork Silver Foxes on July 31st. More details to come! #Shoot4Six

Meet Ashley Miller – Richland County Recreation Commissioner

Ashley was born in Columbia, SC and she and her husband Brandon have three children, Ava, Eason and Nora. She attended Irmo high school and has been a native to the Columbia area her entire life.

Brandon and Ashley own a small investment company in Columbia as well as own and operate German Autowerks in West Columbia.

Irmo Little League and Friarsgate Park are near and dear to her family and Ashley and her husband have both volunteered for several years at the park. In addition, all of their children have played at Friarsgate Park and they are very familiar with the facilities and many of the families currently using the park.

Ashley told me “A large portion of our time is spent watching our children grow, play, make lasting friendships and become better athletes at this park. I am deeply passionate and a strong advocate for safety and positive change for all children and families entering our parks and recreation throughout Richland County. I look forward to using my voice for good and I am excited to serve!”

If you have ideas, suggestions or advice for how to improve our parks (Friarsgate Park and Ballentine Park) please let her know by calling 803-955-6110.

We’ve been very fortunate to have been served through the years on the commission by John Ecton, Todd Latiff, Cynthia Shepard and now Ashley. You may have noticed many rennovations recently and in years past as part of funding I secured for Friarsgate as well as improvements at Ballentine Park. Those monies come from state allocated funds to each county delegation. Serving on a large delegation of 15 Democrats and only 2 Republicans makes it challenging to secure the funds we need out here in the northwest corner of the county; but building relationships and advocating for our community – along with having a community member on the commission – helps tremendously.

Thank you Ashley for your willingness to serve!

Meet Mike Swindell – newly appointed Richland County Transportation Committee

Late last year, I put out a request to gauge interest in the community about serving on the local county transportation committee.

I had a few inquiries and some asked to be considered. Thank you to those that did. I’m pleased to share that as of today, our local representative on that committee is Mike Swindell. I met Mike years ago on the campaign trail and know that his demeanor and skills will be needed to help Northwest Richland County with our ever growing needs.

To be clear – he’s not your pothole guy. You can come to me for those or our local county councilman, Bill Malinowksi. But Mike will get a vote on the committee for some smaller funding projects in the county.

Mike’s bio from his paying job is below…

Michael S. Swindell focuses on Workers’ Compensation and Social Security cases. He is licensed to practice law in the state of South Carolina.

Michael is a native South Carolinian from Bamberg, S.C. Michael completed his undergraduate work and earned his J.D. at the University of South Carolina. Michael was a member of the South Carolina Army National Guard from 1981 to 1991 and reached the rank of Captain.

He is a current member of the South Carolina Bar, the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, and the Association of South Carolina Claimant Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation.

He serves on a number of boards for his profession and community. He is the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Education Association. He is also a board member for the Mizpah Foundation and the Chapin High School Booster Club. He serves on the Board of Directors at Kid’s Chance of South Carolina.

Michael is married and has three boys: Scott, Chad and Ben. Michael’s hobbies center around sports, including football, wrestling and fishing. He is currently a member of Chapin United Methodist Church and enjoys singing in the church choir.

Meet Amy Carter: SC Teacher of the Year 2022

School District Five teacher named 2022 South Carolina Teacher of the Year

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman announced tonight at the annual South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala that Amy Carter, an English teacher at Chapin High School in School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties, is the 2022 South Carolina Teacher of the Year.

“Amy’s leadership in and outside her classroom, and dedication to her students have uniquely qualified her for this prestigious honor,” said Superintendent Spearman. “I look forward to seeing her represent South Carolina’s over 55,000 teachers as she advocates for the profession over the next year.”

In her 21st year of teaching English to high school students, Amy has always sought to combine language and writing of authors and students with the powerful collaboration tools that technology offers. Amy’s teaching philosophy comes from Marianne Williamson’s urging to, “Let your light shine so that others may be granted permission to do the same.”

She uses literature as a basis for genuine connection with students of all ability levels ranging from grades 9-12 and uses that rapport to help them become readers, writers, and storytellers in their own right. With her most recent professional investment in the school’s Teacher Cadet program, Amy hopes to make an even greater impact as an advocate for public education by inspiring hopeful future educators that may one day become our colleagues.

“We are proud to have Mrs. Carter named the South Carolina Teacher of the Year and know that she represents the many exceptional teachers we have in our district and throughout the state,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Melton said. “With teaching experiences in several communities, she has used her relational approach to education to make lasting impacts and has demonstrated true leadership inside her classrooms and beyond. Congratulations, Mrs. Carter!”

As part of the state Teacher of the Year awards program, Amy will receive $25,000 and a brand new BMW for one year.

Considered one of the country’s strongest, the South Carolina Teacher of the Year program celebrates excellence and strengthens the teaching force by honoring and recognizing exceptional teachers on a district, state, and national level. These awards not only assist in retention efforts but serve as a powerful recruitment tool.

The South Carolina Teacher of the Year serves for one school year as a roving ambassador providing mentoring, attending speaking engagements, working with teacher cadets and teaching fellows, leading the State Teacher Forum, and serving as the state spokesperson for over 55,000 educators. Learn more about the Teacher of the Year program.

Chapin Chamber In-Person Meeting! March 18th

We are so excited to be back meeting in person! Please be sure to wear a facemask while not eating or drinking. Social Distancing guidelines will be enforced.

Join us on March 18th at 12pm at The Cotton Press in Little Mountain. We’ll hear from Scott Hanners of Scott Hanners – State Farm and Kari Pepper McKeone of The Justin Pepper Foundation. Lunch will be provided by Sheila Veach of Small Packages, LLC. *Facemasks will be required while not eating or drinking.

The Cotton Press
199 W. Church Street
Little Mountain, SC 29075

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

For more info contact:

Paul Sadler
The Greater Chapin Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center
803-345-1100
director@chapinchamber.com

Click here to register

Irmo Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting: Feb 10th

February Chamber Luncheon
Wednesday, February 10th
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
6952 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC 29212

This month we will welcome our friend, Cynthia Giles with Cut Throat Marketing to our podium to discuss the ins and outs of using social media to promote your business in this competitive marketplace for 2021. .

THANK YOU to our Diamond partner at Lexington Medical Center for presenting this event. Cut Throat Marketing will be providing our AV and the live stream will be facilitated by Raynet Technologies!

PLEASE NOTE: We have a limited number of tickets available for this event so that we can maintain social distancing guidelines inside the fellowship hall. Masks are required for entry into the event and will be required at all times except when eating or drinking. Additionally, Oxi-Thyme Sanitation Service, one of our newest Marketing partners, will sanitize and disinfect the room prior to the event using EPA registered Hydrogen Peroxide.

Tickets are $10 and all tickets to the event MUST be purchased in ADVANCE with a credit/debit card. If you are a Marketing, Emerald or Diamond Partner, Law Enforcement or First Responder OR a Lunch Card Holder, please email Kerry to reserve your lunch.

No cash or walk ups will be accepted.

We apologize for the inconvenience and abundance of rules but we’re just trying to be responsible while continuing to grow this amazing and supportive Irmo Business Community!!