FLORENCE, S.C. – Frank J. “Buddy” Brand, II, Mark Buyck, Jr., Melody Birmingham-Byrd, Sarah M. Caggiano and Jane P. Huggins all of Florence and L. Franklin Elmore of Greenville have been elected to the Francis Marion University Foundation Board.
Brand, Buyck, Caggiano, Huggins and Elmore began their initial three-year term July 1, while Birmingham-Byrd began her term Sept. 2009. Board members may be elected to subsequent terms.
“These are excellent people who are also strong leaders in the community,” said Reamer B. King, chairman of the FMU Foundation board. “They have highly successful business careers and have received well-deserved recognition for their support of numerous philanthropies. Each brings the vision, experience and clear commitment to the mission of moving the university forward in exciting ways."
- Brand is a native of Florence and a graduate of The Citadel. He is employed with Stifel Nicolaus, an investment firm based in Florence. He is an active member of the Florence community, serving as the Chairman of the Board of the United Way and CHOiCES school. He also serves as a director on the board of the Boys and Girls Club, the Florence Downtown Development Board, the Florence County Economic Development Board, and the community advisory board of the Junior League of Florence. In addition, Brand serves his community as a Florence City Councilman.
- A St. Matthews native and longtime Florence resident, Buyck is a senior partner and chairman of Florence’s oldest law firm, Willcox Buyck & Williams P.A., founded in 1895. Buyck serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of South Carolina (’56, ’59 law), the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation and the Board of Directors of Carolinas Hospital System, the Bank of Clarendon and IRIX Pharmaceuticals Inc. He is one of the founders of the S.C. Defense Trial Attorneys Association and has been named one of the “Best Lawyers in America” by U.S. News & World Report for each of the past 10 years. He also is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the National College of Trial Lawyers, the 4th Circuit Judicial Conference and the American District Attorney’s Association.
- Birmingham-Byrd is vice president of Progress Energy’s southern region. She has been with Progress Energy since 2004. Previously, she served as general manager of operations for the region, director of Distribution Resource Management and Construction for Progress Energy Carolinas and as manager of Transmission Maintenance Resource Management. She earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and management from Purdue University and a master’s degree in business administration from Strayer University.
- Caggiano is plant manager for the Southeastern Distribution Center of Johnson Controls Inc., a company expected to bring 250 new jobs to Florence County. The company already provides more than 1,000 jobs in the nearby region. Caggiano is aggressively involved in the community serving as a member of the Greater Florence, South Carolina and Marion chambers and United Way. She also participates in the S.C. Women’s Network, CampSuccess, Adopt a Beach and numerous other activities throughout the Pee Dee and Grand Strand regions.
- Huggins is the owner of Sadisco, a private auction company with 24 locations throughout the Southeast. She serves on the Board of Directors at All Saints' Episcopal Day School and the Wachovia Advisory board. She is a past member of the Trinity Collegiate School Board. Huggins is a McLeod Fellow, McLeod Angel and is actively involved with the Women in Philanthropy organization.
- Elmore is co-founder of Elmore & Wall, P.A., a law firm with offices in Charleston, Greenville and Raleigh N.C. Elmore earned a bachelor’s degree at FMU in 1973 and a law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1976. He was admitted to the state bar in 1976. He is a member of the American Bar Association. In 1983, he was recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America. He was the recipient of FMU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996. He received the 2001 award from the Carolinas AGC for outstanding individual contribution.
The Francis Marion University Foundation was organized in 1974 to provide a means for soliciting and accepting substantial gifts of money or property in order to build an endowment fund that would promote the educational purpose and welfare of FMU.
The FMU Foundation is governed by an independent volunteer board of directors, with additional honorary and ex-officio directors, including the president of the university and other key administrators.