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MUSC’s Dr. David J. Cole Named 2021 Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award Winner

The Charleston Metro Chamber announced Dr. David J. Cole as the recipient of the 2021 Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award, which will be presented at the Chamber’s Member-Bration on December 3.

Named after one of the region’s most notable and popular leaders, the late father of Former Mayor Joe Riley, the Joseph P. Riley award was initiated in 1992 by the Charleston Metro Chamber. This prestigious award recognizes an outstanding leader who has, through a lifetime of leadership, committed to making the community a better place to live, work and do business. The recipients of this award are dedicated to serving and strengthening the Charleston community.

In leading South Carolina’s only comprehensive academic health system, Medical University of South Carolina President, Dr. David Cole, demands excellence from himself and those that he leads.

“The Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award is conferred on a transformative leader who has a deep and meaningful impact on our area,” said Bryan Derreberry, President and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber. “Dr. Cole has and continues to provide compassionate, medically advanced and public health savvy leadership in a once-in-a-century global pandemic. He ‘willingly stepped into the gap’ to be the clear signal we all needed to navigate one of the most pressing crises in our region’s history. His actions and ongoing impact are at the heart of what epitomizes the Joseph P. Riley award. Congratulations to Dr. Cole, his family and the MUSC team and Board of Trustees on this distinguished honor.”

Dr. Cole’s past, present and future leadership relevance to the Charleston region will be showcased at the Chamber’s annual member recognition event, Member-Bration, on December 3. The Chamber will also recognize other outstanding business leaders and organizations, who are doing exceptional work in our region with Honors Awards.

Previous winners of the Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award include Dr. Jairy C. Hunter (2019), Len Hutchison (2018), Perry Keith Waring (2017), W. Brian Moody (2016) and Thompson E. Penney (2015).

For more information about the 2021 Member-Bration and to purchase tickets visit

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Tamia Sumpter

Tamia is a driven senior undergraduate Bioengineering student currently enrolled at Clemson University. With a strong foundation in her field, she has honed her skills through hands-on experience in research and development at Eli Lilly & Company. During her time in the ADME department, Tamia contributed significantly by working on siRNAs and their applications in finding In Vitro-In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC). Looking ahead, Tamia has set her sights on a promising career in law. She aspires to specialize in Intellectual Property Law, with a particular focus on serving as in-house counsel for leading medical device or pharmaceutical companies. Her enthusiasm for this role is palpable as she prepares to embark on her legal journey! She is also a proud member of the Omicron Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., PEER Mentor for Clemson PEER/WiSE, and currently serves as the President of Clemson Bioengineering Organization (CBO). With her unique blend of scientific knowledge and legal interests, Tamia is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare and life sciences industries.