North Greenville University (NGU) rings in the new year with new leadership on its governing body. The University's board of trustees begins 2021 with a new chair in Dr. Mike Hamlett, a new vice-chair in Mandie Boyd, and a new secretary in Shana Sands. The slate of new board members for the current term includes five new members who began their five-year terms on Jan. 1.
Hamlett is the senior pastor of First North Baptist in Spartanburg. Boyd, a 2005 alumna, is The Boyd Team real estate group's co-owner with her husband Justin ('05). After serving many years as a quality control leader at General Electric, Sands is the ministry coordinator and a women's ministry leader for Kingdom Life Church in Simpsonville, where her husband, Alex, is pastor.
The five board members starting full terms are Ronald K. Edwards, retired attorney; Keith Broadus Giddens, CEO-President of Liquid Combustion Technology; Ron E. Hewitt, Jr., Global Asian Marketing Director with Sage Automotive Interiors; Isaac Johnson, Jr., attorney and judge; and Dr. Brian Lee Spearman, senior pastor, Marietta First Baptist Church.
NGU trustees are nominated through the South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC) nominations process for entities affiliated with the convention. The trustees are elected by the vote of messengers from SCBC churches during the convention's annual meeting each November.
"We are pleased to welcome these new trustees, whose range of perspectives, deep expertise in their respective fields, and wealth of volunteer experience will bring singular voices to the board's deliberations during a time of unique challenges and opportunities for the University," said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr.
Ronald K. Edwards from Greenville begins his sixth term on the NGU BOT, where he has served as secretary and chairman. He is a graduate of Furman University, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the University of South Carolina School of Law. Edwards is a member of the South Carolina Bar Association and previously served as a trustee for LifeWay Christian Resources. He also has served on the SCBC Nominating Committee and the SCBC Order of Business Committee. Edwards is a past president of the Greer Chamber of Commerce and Greer Kiwanis Club. He is a retired attorney, and he and his wife, Missy, are members of Taylors First Baptist Church.
Keith Broadus Giddens, of Simpsonville, begins his first term on the NGU Board. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and is CEO-President of Liquid Combustion Technology in Travelers Rest. Giddens is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. He is a former board member and chair of the Piedmont Women's Center and former board member for Miracle Hill Ministries. He and his wife, Kristi McClellan Giddens, a 1985 North Greenville alumna, are members of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, where he currently serves as a deacon and is a past chair of the finance committee. The Giddens have three adult sons: Keith Jr., Daniel, and Samuel.
Ron E. Hewitt, Jr., from Moore, begins his first term on the NGU Board. He is the Global Asian Marketing Director for Sage Automotive Interiors in Greenville. He received his associate's degree from the University of South Carolina and his bachelor's degree from Limestone University. Hewitt is a member of the South Carolina Manufacturers Association and is a board member for Fire Pit Ranch, The Encouraging Word, Three Pines Country Club, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is chairman of Shrine Bowl Players Sponsors. He is also a member of the U.S. Army National Guard Infantry and JROTC Battalion Commander. Hewitt and his wife, Runette, are members of the First Baptist Church of Spartanburg. They have three adult children: Matthew, Nicholas, and Andrew.
Dr. Isaac Johnson, Jr., of Simpsonville, begins his first term on the NGU Board. He is an attorney and serves as a municipal judge for both Greer and Gray Court. He also works with the Social Security Administration. Johnson received his bachelor's degree in 1981 and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina in 1986. He is a South Carolina Summary Court Association member, the Greenville County Bar Association, and the South Carolina Bar Association. Johnson is vice chairman of Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources, former board chair of the Urban League of the Upstate, and former board member of the South Carolina Board of Optometry. He and his wife, Cheryl, are members of Edwards Road Baptist in Greenville, where he is a deacon. The Johnsons have two adult children: Lauren and Taylor.
Dr. Brian L. Spearman, a three-time NGU graduate from Easley, begins his first term on the NGU Board. He is the senior pastor and former student pastor at Marietta First Baptist Church. He received his bachelor's degree in elementary education in 2000, master's degree in Christian ministry in 2010, and his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2014. He comes from an NGU family. Spearman's father, Rev. Richard Spearman, and his mother, Nan Neves Spearman, are 1970 North Greenville graduates; his sister, Becky Mason, is a 2002 graduate, and his brother-in-law, Scott Mason, is a 1995 graduate. Spearman and his wife, Angela, have three sons: Nate, Stephen James-Patrick, and Alexander.
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