The Challenger Learning Center Advisory Board promotes the development of the Challenger Learning Center of RCSD1 as it relates to and meets the needs of students, the community, and the public.
Members of the 2015-2016 Challenger Learning Center Advisory Board:
Paul Werts, Chair
Paul Werts is the Program Manager of Airport Development and Division of Aeronautics Special Programs with the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission. He is a Board Member of the Celebrate Freedom Foundation, a Chapter Member of the Thrivent Financial Church Council, and a member of the South Carolina Aviation Association. He received a degree is Civil Engineering Technology from Midlands Technical College and is a Certified Public Manager. He formerly served as the Director of the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission.
John Busch, Vice-Chair
John Busch is an entrepreneur who serves on the College of Charleston Board of Trustees and the Humanities Council of South Carolina. He is a former F-16 pilot at McEntire JNGB and Delta Air Lines pilot. He received his bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston, a Master’s of Strategic Studies from the USAF Air War College, and an International MBA from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.
Willa Martin Bailey, Communications Officer
Willa has over 35 years in several industries; Transportation, Health, Automotive, Manufacturing, Economic Development and Executive Recruiting. While at General Motors in Michigan, she was promoted through the ranks within Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing and Marketing Strategy Development. After General Motors she served as a manager of consulting for A.T. Kearney and KPMG, focusing on business process improvement. After a relocation to Tennessee, Willa was appointed by the Memphis Regional Chamber as the Senior Vice President for the ten year economic development plan for Memphis and Shelby County. She benchmarked with peer cities to identify best practices that would be incorporated into the ten year plan. Willa also worked with the University of Memphis to track performance measurements identified by the plan. Ms. Bailey has spent the past 13 years as an entrepreneur and co-business owner, with her husband Edward, of a successful executive search firm focusing on middle to executive level manufacturing positions for several industries. Willa is now semi-retired and serves on the Challenger Advisory Board and the Richland County Procurement Review Panel. She manages the Thomas Sinkler Martin Scholarship Fund, in memory of her Father.
Everett McMillian, Past Chair
Everett McMillian is Aviation Attorney with Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough, LLP. He is also a Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor. He served on the South Carolina Aerospace Task Force. He attended the Citadel and the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Adrianne Beasley is the Program Manager for the University of South Carolina’s McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation & Research.
Deborah Cameron serves as the Director of Aerospace Initiatives at the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness/SC Aerospace, an organization working to advance aerospace in South Carolina. She is also an airplane owner and is currently building a RV10. She earned a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. for Johns Hopkins University.
Christopher S. Eversmann
Christopher S. Eversmann is the Airport Director at the Jim Hamilton–LB Owens Airport (CUB). He is an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) and a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) in South Carolina. He serves as the Chairman of the South Carolina Aviation Safety Council and on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Aviation Association. He is a member of the Society of American Military Engineers. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Carolina. He is married to the former Jill Grant, and father of two grown children. He is a former Engineer Officer in the US Marine Corps. He has been a South Carolina resident since 1994 and a Columbia resident since 2001.
Elmer Castro serves as the Executive Director of the Boeing Project Division of Economic Develop and Workforce Competitiveness.
Don Purcell is the President of the Spring Valley Auto Group. He is the past Chairman of the Richland County Airport Commission and current President of the South Carolina Aviation Association. He is a past Chairman and Board Member of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and a past Chairman and Board Member of the NE Area Council. He serves as a Board Member and is on the Executive Committee for the Richland County Cultural Council. He serves on the Richland School District 2 Superintendent’s Advisory Committee. He is a Board Member for Sparkleberry Fair.