Promise Leadership

 Katie Davenport, Executive Director

Katie is a native of Greenwood County, having graduated from Ninety-Six High School.  Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Clemson University and started her career at the Greenwood Genetic Center as a Cytogenetic Technologist for about four years before deciding that she wanted to get into education and started as Science teacher at Westview Middle School.  While teaching, she also completed her Master of Education from Walden University and later completed a Master of Education from Grand Canyon University, specializing in Elementary and Secondary Administration and Supervision.  She worked as the 6th and 7th Grade STEMS Science Teacher for Greenwood District 50; where she was selected as 2017/2018 Teacher of the Year at Westview Middle School.

Katie’s passion for education and the need for her students was evident throughout her career as an educator.  She has seen first-hand what it means for academically promising students to feel that a college education is out of reach and she understands what the Greenwood Promise can mean for these students.  Her desire is to make sure all of these students will have that opportunity.  As we move into finding ways to reach those students at an early age and work to prepare them for college; Katie’s insights and experiences will help to make that happen.

In addition to her busy educational life, Katie is a volunteer at Hospice Care of the Piedmont’s Hospice House and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Humane Society of Greenwood.

J. Ron MillenderPromise Committee Chairman

Giving back to the community is an important principle for Ron Millender and one that he eagerly gives his time and energy.

Ron began his involvement with The Greenwood Promise in 2012 by providing research, costs/benefits projections, presentations and fund development.  And, as the current Chair of The Greenwood Promise Committee, Ron is working to successfully launch Phase 1 of the Promise for the graduating High School Class of 2017 as well as to implement the remaining phases as funds become available.

Ron’s professional career began after graduation from Clemson in 1975, with Dow Chemical in Charlotte, NC before moving to Greenwood as a Process Engineer with Capsugel in 1978.  Over the next six years, Ron accepted increasing responsibilities at the Capsugel Greenwood facility to become Director of Manufacturing in 1984.  In 1993, Ron began his first Capsugel Global assignment as Director of Global Quality Systems supporting the implementation of quality systems throughout the 11 Capsugel plants worldwide.  In 1995, Ron then became Vice President of Global Operations supporting those same worldwide facilities for all their operational needs.  In 2005, Ron assumed the role of Vice President and General Manager for The Americas region of Capsugel for all aspects of the business for North and South America.  And, in 2011 Ron retired from Capsugel.

As during his 33 years of employment with Capsugel, Ron has continued to volunteer his time and talents to help local nonprofits.  Ron has served on the boards of various non-profit organizations in the community – Lander Foundation Board, Self Regional Healthcare Board (Chair), and Beyond Abuse (Chair).   In addition to The Greenwood Promise, Ron currently serves on the following boards – YMCA, United Way (past-Chair), HospiceCare of the Piedmont (Chair), Piedmont Technical College Foundation Board, Greater Greenwood Clemson Club (Chair), and Clemson Alumni Council.

Although, a native of St. Matthews, SC, Ron has a been a resident of Greenwood for 38 years.  He is a graduate of Clemson University with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and obtained his Professional Engineering license for SC in 1983.  Ron is married to Brenda, also from St. Mathews.  And, Ron and Brenda have 3 adult daughters and 5 grandchildren (ages 6 to 1) who Ron hopes will one day benefit from The Greenwood Promise.