Columbia, S.C. (April 1, 2019) - The Columbia World Affairs Council (CWAC) is pleased to announce Tia Williams Nelson as its director of communications and development.
Nelson joins the CWAC in an earnest effort to showcase South Carolina while bridging the vast cultural and economic opportunity between global and regional stakeholders. Her immense network plus institutional knowledge will be invaluable in promoting the region through its core mission of conversation, education and innovative exchange.
Nelson is a South Congaree native and economic development professional with a passion for thriving, healthy cities. While earning a Bachelor of Science from Clemson University in Psychology and Communications Studies, Nelson chaired International Outreach, a student-led organization providing social and academic connectivity and resources for international students. During her Clemson tenure, she also attended the world-renowned Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia, with course emphasis in Intercultural Communications and Development.
Upon graduation, Nelson joined Congressman Joe Wilson’s team on Capitol Hill to assist in constituent services and policy development for South Carolina District Two. It was during this term Nelson discovered a passion for public administration and international policy, leading her to begin a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning at University of Virginia and completing the program with a Certificate in Economic Development from Virginia Polytechnic and State University in 2009. During her time at Virginia Tech, Nelson served as a data analyst and research consultant for the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development.
For nearly a decade, Nelson has served as a publisher, franchise owner, entrepreneur, and marketing expert in various private sector capacities. In 2009, she joined her brother, Taylor Williams, as a franchise consultant and eventual co-owner of SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington. Within four years, Nelson and Williams doubled volume and profitability of the thirty-year service business through community marketing initiatives and advanced team development strategies. An original SERVPRO marketing initiative, Midlands Anchor, eventually exceeded its mission as a community newsletter to become a competitive regional publication for Midlands stories and economic development initiatives. In 2016, Nelson sold her shares at SERVPRO to recommit to full-time public administration and development work through Midlands Anchor and its leadership board, The Anchor Institute. The leadership board includes notable community members and experts, including Reba Campbell (Municipal Association of South Carolina), Mary Louise Resch (Harvest Hope), Tom Ledbetter (Midlands Tech), and FatRat Da Czar (Czar Records).
Nelson’s community involvement and achievements include recognition as Lexington Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional of the Year, Roaring Ten Award Recipient (Distinguished Clemson Alumni), former roles as Chair of Lexington Young Professionals, Secretary of Columbia Opportunity Resource and Co-Organizer of One Million Cups, Columbia. She has served six terms as an appointed board member of the Regional Education Center Advisory Board through the SC Department of Commerce.
Nelson can be contacted at email@example.com or 803.252.2197.