Learn More About the Spring 2020 Leadership Discovery Mentors

Leadership Discovery is an innovative and skills-based leadership program that allows emergent business and community leaders to learn from experienced regional leaders. Through Leadership Discovery, participants build strong peer relationships, community connections and valuable leadership understanding.

Applications for the Spring 2020 session are open!

Spring 2020 Mentors

Kenya Dunn

Founder & CEO, The Power-Filled Woman

Kenya Dunn, Founder & CEO of the Power-Filled Woman, is a wife, mother and an experienced corporate executive.

Kenya’s passion is leading others on a journey of self-discovery. She believes that our lives are the sum of the choices we make. Kenya was raised in an environment that statistics says would hinder her from being successful. She was raised by a single mother in an impoverished community that was severely affected by drugs. Despite the reality of her circumstances, Kenya lives a thriving personal and professional life.

Kenya has held executive leadership positions in both Customer Service & Retail organizations, building high performing teams producing phenomenal results. She has also helped countless people grow their own careers and launch businesses.

If you ask Kenya who she is as a leader, she will tell you, “I am a high energy, impact leader. A creative visionary. I am a people-first leader able to activate large groups to accomplish complex goals. I have the capacity to manage multiple priorities. Serving others in a way that helps them reach their highest potential fuels me. I am competitive. I have my feet on the ground but my eyes on the prize. Authenticity, transparency, honesty, and love are my guiding principles.”

Bill Stanfield

Executive Director, Metanoia

Rev. Bill Stanfield is a co-founder of the Metanoia Community Development Corporation of North Charleston where he currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer. Metanoia was begun in 2002 to work to combat child poverty in the zip codes with the highest concentration of child poverty in South Carolina.

Metanoia serves to build the leadership skills of 75 students after school and 100 students during the summer months. In housing development, Metanoia has either built new or renovated 35 Units of housing for first time homebuyers and quality affordable rental in a neighborhood with large amounts of vacant and abandoned housing stock.  Metanoia’s homeowners bring stability to the community. Metanoia has also funded a minority contractor training academy that graduated over 60 small contractors with better business skills. 

Rev. Stanfield is originally from Greensboro, NC and holds a Bachelors Degree in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Rev. Stanfield is a graduate of the SC Governor’s School for Economic Development, The SC Department of Commerce Economic Developer’s School and the SC Community Development Institute of Clemson University, Benedict College and SC Association of Community Economic Developments. Rev. Stanfield was voted the 2012 North Charleston Citizen of the Year by the North Charleston Citizens Advisory Council.

Christie Rainwater

Mayor, City of Hanahan

Wife, Mom, Politician, Top Seller, Coach, and Volunteer… aka SuperMom. Christie Rainwater juggles many roles in her life, and currently serves as the Mayor of Hanahan, SC. Christie’s vision is to help everyone in her community to discover their talents and passions and use those to be #differencemakers. While she can accomplish much, she believes that together we can accomplish much more.

Christie is also a Director with the Pampered Chef. While ranking in the top 3% in sales company-wide, Christie’s finds true success in the thought of families making memories around the dinner table after an experience with her. She has also worked in the fields of business and education, and she is a Coach to the leadership of Women’s Ministry at Seacoast church where she and her husband serve as Elders.

Christie’s passions lie in developing others through encouragement and vision. She is a strong believer in the power of positive thinking and encouraging others, all rooted in her faith. Christie works to a level of excellence in all that she does and also helps support those around her with their personal goals and passions.

Dr. Mary Thornley

President, Trident Technical College

Dr. Mary Thornley has been president of Trident Technical College since 1991. She truly believes in the transformational power of education and is passionate about the community college’s role in making our communities and our nation stronger, more adaptable, and better able to face the challenges of the future.

Dr. Thornley holds a doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Carolina; a master of arts in teaching English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and a bachelor of arts in English and French from Mars Hill College, North Carolina.

She has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction from Phi Theta Kappa, Southeast Region Chief Executive Officer Award from the Association of Community College Trustees, Martha Kime Piper Female Executive Award, Trident United Way Women’s Leadership Award, The Free Enterprise Foundation Ethics and Civics Responsibility Award and many more!

LaVanda Brown

Executive Director, YWCA Greater Charleston

LaVanda Brown has over 20 years of on-the-ground experience in social services, including an early career in social work. She currently serves as the Executive Director for YWCA Greater Charleston.

Prior to joining the YWCA Greater Charleston team in 2016, she led and advised several Savannah-area nonprofit organizations, including Family Promise of Greater Savannah, Union Mission, and Greenbriar Children’s Center, and others in the behavioral health, employment, and community services fields.

A passionate advocate for causes including promoting gender equality and diversity, helping at-risk teens, and serving homeless populations, she envisions a world where differences are not just tolerated, but celebrated. 

During her time in Savannah’s nonprofit arena, LaVanda developed strategic plans resulting in more positive community interventions; created a homeless case management system, life skills curriculum, and after-care program to help the homeless transition to independence; instituted permanent housing for the mentally ill homeless population; and obtained more than $3 million in federal, state, and local grants.

Her work garnered awards including the US Housing & Urban Development Best Practices Award for Transitional Housing and Case Management, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Magnolia Award for Excellence in Housing. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from these outstanding community leaders. Learn more about Leadership Discovery or apply now for the Spring 2020 Session.

Back to Top


Thrive Panel Brings Attention to and Solutions for the Lack of Women in Elected Office