1 year ago

2022 CLT Board Press Release

Congaree Land Trust Announces Three New Board Members

COLUMBIA, SC—  Congaree land Trust (CLT) is pleased to announce the election of three new members to the CLT Board of Directors in its thirtieth year of protecting the natural heritage of central South Carolina. New board members include: Marty Brown, partner in Colite International, Dave Sojourner, tax and estate planning attorney at Sojourner, Caughman & Thomas, and Hunter Suggs, South Carolina Director of Commercial Real Estate for National Land Realty.

“We are very pleased to have these three new board members join our ranks and share their talent and skills in furtherance of our conservation work.” said Stuart White, Executive Director of the Congaree Land Trust.

Marty Brown is a partner in Colite International - a national supplier for signage and Colite Technologies, a renewable energy provider. He is a native of Columbia, SC and graduate of the University of Notre Dame ('85) with a degree in Finance. Married for 37 years to Allison Dorn-Brown, they have two children and one grandson. Marty is the current Board Chair for Homeworks of America, a local non-profit assisting those in need with home repairs.

Dave Sojourner is a tax and estate planning attorney at Sojourner, Caughman & Thomas in Columbia, South Carolina. He is a native of St. George, South Carolina and a graduate of Clemson University (B.S. Economics), the University of South Carolina School of Law (J.D.), and New York University School of Law (LL.M. – Taxation). Dave is an active member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral where he previously served as Senior Warden and is the former board chair of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and the Central Carolina Community Foundation. 

Hunter Suggs is the South Carolina Director of Commercial Real Estate for National Land Realty. A graduate of Clemson University, class of 1998, Hunter received a BS in Financial Management and a minor in Forest Resource Management. He was proud to be a part of Columbia's Chamber of Commerce – Leadership Class of 2020 and his achievement in receiving the Central Carolina Realtors Association - 2019 Circle of Excellence award for transaction volume. He is also a member of the Central Carolina Realtors Association - CCRA and CCIM Institute. He was the past President of the Business Networking International Chapter in Columbia, SC. Hunter received the CCIM Institute designation in 2020.

We’d also like to recognize Alec Chaplin, Jr. and Bill Short, who concluded their two consecutive three year terms of service on our board and helped us reach 90,000 total acres conserved across the 14 counties we serve.


Congaree Land Trust Board

President: Tripp Bradley

Vice President: Trip Chavis

Secretary: Chris Kirk

Treasurer: Russell Bauknight

Board members: Tripp Bradley, Trip Chavis, Chris Kirk, Russell Bauknight, Henry Beard III, Robert Bunch, Charles Carson, Cristina Fant Emerson, William M. Haselden, Art Laney, Thomas Laney, Kimberlee Neel, Ethan Nord, Dallon Weathers Jr., Johnny Williamson III, Martin Brown, Hunter Suggs, David Sojourner.

About CLT:

For over 30 years, Congaree Land Trust (CLT) has worked to conserve the natural and scenic lands of central South Carolina. The land in the heart of South Carolina is our home, where the mountains meet the sea to make areas rich for life. The Congaree Land Trust works in partnership with landowners to conserve the areas that are important to us, permanently protecting these lands and the way of life we treasure. These treasured spaces are protected forever through conservation easements. Conservation easements help protect the natural areas that fuel our state's natural resource based economy and define our way of life.

Since 1992, Congaree Land Trust has protected over 90,000 acres of working farms, forests and significant habitats through the establishment of over 200 conservation easements. Additionally, CLT acquired three conservation properties and donated 350 acres to Lee State Park along the Lynches River. This land will be enjoyed for public use and recreation along the river and will be protected in perpetuity for future generations

CLT also recognizes the importance of meeting national quality standards for protecting these important natural places and working lands forever. In 2012, CLT became a fully accredited land trust through The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, which means we meet the national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust, and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.

Furthermore, we recognized we are part of a bigger picture – Although we concentrate on our local 14-county area – the Congaree Land Trust is doing its part to support a major network of more than 1,700 land trusts in the United States. Working together, land trusts have conserved 56 million acres, an area of protected land that is double the size of all the land in national parks across the lower 48 states.