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2021 SCMA Woman of the Year Award Presented to Barbara Melvin, COO, South Carolina State Ports Authority

2021 SCMA Woman of the Year Award Presented to Barbara Melvin, COO, South Carolina State Ports Authority


March 5, 2021
Contact: James Richter
Phone: 803-528-1288

(Columbia, SC) – Barbara Melvin, Chief Operating Officer of the South Carolina State Ports Authority, was today named the 2021 SCMA Woman of the Year at a virtual awards presentation held during the 3rd annual Palmetto Women’s Manufacturing Forum hosted by the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA).  The award was created to honor an outstanding female South Carolinian for her contributions to our state’s manufacturing industry. The annual event is organized by SCMA to recognize the impact of female leaders in the manufacturing field. Previous award recipients include Sky Foster, Communications Manager at BMW Manufacturing and Lou Kennedy, CEO & Owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

“Barbara’s knowledge and support of the manufacturing industry is invaluable.  Through her critical work with SC Ports she supports manufacturers across all industry sectors throughout our state,” said Sara Hazzard, President & CEO of SCMA. “Barbara leads with enthusiasm and is dedicated to ensuring the strength of South Carolina’s world class Ports system. We are thrilled to present Barbara with the 2021 SCMA South Carolina Woman of the Year Award.”

Melvin is one of the only women in the country serving as COO of a port. Over the past 23 years, Melvin has overseen great growth and crucial infrastructure projects at South Carolina Ports, including the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project, which will give South Carolina the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by SCMA, a highly respected organization whose members’ imports and exports are entrusted to our care. Manufacturing is a critical part of our state’s economy, and I am proud that our work at SC Ports supports this industry every day,” Melvin said. “I accept the SCMA Woman of the Year Award on behalf of our SC Ports team and the broader maritime community, and I hope that we will continue to see more women excelling in the manufacturing and logistics industries.”

In addition to honoring the important role female industry leaders have in the Palmetto State, JoAnn Turnquist, President & CEO of the Central Carolina Community Foundation provided the event keynote, “The Power of Women Giving Back.”

Palmetto Women’s Manufacturing Forum attendees also participated in a panel discussion to learn more about career opportunities and leadership tracks for women in manufacturing.

Panelists included:

Katie Gambrell – North America HR Manager, Sage Automotive Interiors

Jann Moore – Manager, State Govt Affairs-SE Region, Caterpillar Inc.

Wendy Young – Assistant Manager, Human Resources, Samsung

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South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance

The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance is the only statewide organization dedicated exclusively to the interests of manufacturers. Its mission is to strengthen and advance South Carolina manufacturing by advocating for our members, fostering a world-class workforce, and bringing together manufacturers to connect, share, and solve industry challenges. The SCMA membership is comprised of more than 200 manufacturing companies that represent more than 80,000 associates in South Carolina.