FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University presented its 2007-2008 alumni awards at an Alumni Appreciation Dinner, Jan. 31.
The Outstanding Alumnus is Ted Maness. He graduated from FMU in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Maness is a veteran of Republican politics and Capitol Hill. He worked on Republican campaigns in the 1980s and was director of legislative and political affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1987 to 1993. Maness served as chief of staff to then Representative and now Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in his House and Senate offices from 1993 to 1997.
He was executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee from 1997 to 1999, and vice president for industry relations at Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2001. He is married to Katie Winkeljohn Maness with a daughter Elizabeth, and a son Teddy.
Maness is currently the chief of staff for Congressman George Radanovich (R-Calif.).
The Benjamin Wall Ingram III Young Alumna is Rachel Turner. The Florence native is a 2000 Magna Cum Laude graduate of FMU with a B.S. degree in biology. She is a 2003 honors graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina with a master's degree in health administration. Employed by McLeod Health for four years, she is currently the associate administrator of public relations and marketing for McLeod Medical Center in Dillon, where she oversees public relations and marketing, cardiopulmonary services, cardiac rehab and physical therapy.
Turner is a member of Rehoboth Baptist Church, the South Carolina Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Pee Dee area Alpha Delta Pi Alumnae Association and the Junior League of Florence. She currently serves on the FMU Alumni Association Board. She is engaged to be married on March 1, 2008, to Will Gainey of Marion.
The Alumni Volunteer of the Year is Brent Tiller. He is a 2000 graduate of FMU where he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration while majoring in marketing.
In 2001, Tiller started the business, Pinnacle Network Solutions, which serves the computer networking needs of local businesses and K-12 organizations. Currently, he serves as the operating partner and vice president. The Hartsville native has made hiring FMU students and graduates an essential part of his business model. Within the community, Tiller is an active member of the Florence Kiwanis Club where he has served as the chair of the membership committee and is currently serving on the board. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity serving as a counselor to younger members and as the alumni chapter president for the Pee Dee. He is also a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Florence. In 2006, Tiller became a member of the FMU Alumni Association Board.
Tiller is married to the former DeAnn Weatherly of Dillon, also an FMU graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology. They have a daughter, Weatherly Ann, and are expecting a new addition to their family in April. The Hartsville native and his family now live in Florence.
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