November 13, 2020

Project Manager Kenneth Givens Named 2020 Glenn Jacobus Award Recipient

Miller-Valentine Construction is proud to announce that Project Manager Kenneth Givens II has been honored with the 2020 Glenn Jacobus Award by Leadership Columbia.

The 10-month Leadership Columbia program is offered through the Chamber of Commerce of Columbia, South Carolina. Now in its 48th year, the program combines monthly sessions on leadership and community engagement with a collaborative hands-on project. The Glenn Jacobus Award is bestowed annually to one member of each class who demonstrates outstanding leadership during the program. Recipients are selected by their class.

“It always feels great to be selected for awards by your peers and the people you were in the trenches with,” said Kenneth. “But on a more altruistic front, I think we all won—the community, the class, and the program.”

Serving Columbia’s Youth and Teens

For their community project, the Class of 2020’s 63 professionals supported Palmetto Place, a local children’s shelter that also offers wrap-around services for youth and teens. Kenneth lobbied hard for the group to choose Palmetto Place, having previously volunteered for the organization through Miller-Valentine’s community engagement program, MVGives.

“I have a soft spot for kids and believe that anything we can do to help those in need is worth promoting,” explained Kenneth.

For their capstone project, the team:

  • Raised money for and completed several bricks-and-mortar projects, including a new basketball court
  • Created and led a marketing campaign to raise community awareness about the shelter
  • Developed a legacy project to provide shelter residents with the tools and resources to improve their job interview skills

Kenneth used his field-tested expertise to help keep the project on track and provide guidance on construction. Although completion was delayed by two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 2020 completed all of the tasks they set out to do. They even tackled several items on the shelter’s “wish list.”

“The project reaffirmed my belief that regardless of background, a group of people with a common goal can accomplish a lot and truly make a difference,” said Kenneth.

Following his graduation from the program, Kenneth was named to the Leadership Columbia Advisory Board, where he serves on the Project, Education Day, and Recreation Day subcommittees. He also recently co-founded a nonprofit, Be the Change Foundation, to award scholarships to students at Grovetown High School in Columbia County. He is also active with the United Way of Columbia.

Miller-Valentine has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Leadership Columbia program, as well as similar programs in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio.

“It is a great program that offers an unparalleled experience,” said Kenneth. “With the right attitude and willingness to go all out, you can learn so much about being a better leader in your day-to-day career as well as in your community.”

Hear more about what Kenneth has to say about the program and being honored wit

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