Who We Are

Our Board of Directors work in partner with the community to acquire funds and award grants to benefit the youth of Lancaster County.

Lancaster County Partners for Youth Board of Directors

Tyson Blanton

Chairman of the Board

Tyson Blanton is a sixth generation Lancaster native. She graduated from Lancaster High School in 2013 before attending the University of South Carolina in Columbia. During her time at USC, she was the president of the student chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Public Relations Director for the student magazine on campus, and the 2016-17 PRSA Student of the Year. She maintained a 4.0 GPA on her way to graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. Tyson currently serves as the Public Relations Director of Lynches River Electric Cooperative (LREC) and RiverNet Connect, LREC’s fiber internet subsidiary, where she manages employee, member and community relations. As part of her role at LREC Tyson helped found and is an active board member for The LIGHT Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that aims to positively impact individuals and organizations in Lancaster, Chesterfield and Kershaw counties.

Elizabeth Hyatt


Elizabeth Hyatt is a native of Lancaster, growing up in the Buford community. She is an attorney and the owner of Hyatt Law, LLC, and The Family Center at Judiciary Square, a supervised visitation and mediation center. Elizabeth obtained her undergraduate degree in Special Education from Converse College and went on to earn her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Her background in education has given her a unique perspective on legal issues, especially those surrounding children. An active member of the community, she is a 2006 graduate of Leadership Lancaster County and is a member of Tabernacle United Methodist Church, where she has served on numerous committees as well as in the Chancel Choir. She is the immediate past President of the Lancaster County Bar Association, and serves on the Board of Governors of the South Carolina Association for Justice. A current board member of the Lancaster Rotary Club, Elizabeth has served as President of the Carolinas Literacy Network Board of Directors, and on the boards for the Learning Institute for Tomorrow, Habitat for Humanity, Family Connections, Safe Passage, and the Safe Kids Bright Futures Committee. Elizabeth is married to Wes Peninger and they have a blended family of five (almost) adult children.

Mary Faile


Mary Faile is the Director of Finance for the Lancaster County School District. Prior to this position, she was the Foundation Liaison for the Educational Foundation of USC Lancaster. She has more than 30 years of accounting experience including a senior accounting position at OceanaGold Inc. at Haile Gold Mine and various accounting positions in private, public and non-profit firms. She served as Treasurer of the Lancaster County Council of the Arts Board of Directors for six years and is currently serving as Treasurer of the Lindsay Pettus Greenway Board of Directors. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and graduated Cum Laude from Winthrop University receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. Mary and her husband Dean have two children; Nicholas, 24, and Derek, who is a fifth grader at North Elementary School.

Walt Collins

Board Member

Dr. Walter Collins began his career at USC Lancaster in August 2002 as an Instructor of French and English. Rising quickly through the ranks to Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Collins began serving as Regional Campus Dean of USC Lancaster on April 15, 2013. He earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2009 and promotion to Full Professor in 2015. A native of Clinton, North Carolina, Collins earned his BA in French Literature from Wake Forest University, his Master of Arts in French Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of South Carolina Columbia in 2004. In the local community, Dr. Collins has been a member of the Board of Directors for MUSC Health: Lancaster Medical Center, Communities in Schools of Lancaster County and the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce where he currently chairs the Public Policy Committee. He also serves on a variety of community advisory groups: Gregory Family YMCA, Lancaster County Economic Development, and Promise Neighborhood. Dr. Collins is passionate about seeing productive collaborations between USC Lancaster and community partners. He is a member of the Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club. Dr. Collins and his wife, Ashley, have four children and reside in Lancaster.

Gregg Gause

Board Member

Gregg Gause is the General Manager of H & H Chevrolet in Kershaw, SC. A graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Gregg serves as treasurer of the Lancaster Chapter of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association. Additionally, he serves as a high school and American Legion baseball umpire. He is married to former Partners for Youth board member Annette Gause and has three children – Christina, Madden and Marsh. Gregg is an active member of Second Baptist Church in Lancaster.

Gail Gillis

Board Member

Gail Gillis, a native of Lancaster, is the Buyer for Nutramax Laboratories, Inc. She has been an active member and volunteer of the community by serving on a multitude of boards and committees of local nonprofit organizations. Gail is a member of Pleasant Dale Baptist Church and very active in the Clothes Closet. She is very excited about the opportunity to serve on the Partners for Youth board and to help the youth of Lancaster County. Gail is married to Carlton Gillis and has a daughter Chrissy, son-in-law Lowen, and a new grandson.

Charlene McGriff

Board Member

Charlene McGriff is the proud mother of two and grandmother of seven. She is a leader in the non-profit community of Lancaster, South Carolina. Ms. McGriff is a graduate of Brookstone College and attended the University of South Carolina – Lancaster. She is also a graduate of the Carolina Leadership Program. From 1995 to present, Ms. McGriff has served as the Executive Director of Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault, an organization which serves Lancaster, Chester, and Fairfield Counties, and, in that capacity, she is responsible for developing budgets, raising money, marketing the services offered by the organization, and serving as a liaison with the community. Her community involvement includes: Lancaster County Council representing District 2, past chairperson of Lancaster County School Board from 2006-2009 and member for 16 years; co-founder and member of Adopt-A-Leader Mentor Program; past chair of the SC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; past president of the SC Network of Children Advocacy Centers; past member of Board of Directors of CareNet; member of the Lancaster County Partners for Youth Board of Directors; member of Lancaster County First Steps; past vice president of the Board of Directors for The Lancaster Children’s Home; member of Lancaster Rotary; member of USC-Lancaster Educational Foundation; and, member of the Coalition for Healthy Youth. Ms. McGriff is an active member of Mount Moriah AME Zion Church and serves as the chairperson of the Finance Committee. She received the 2011 Lancaster County School District Hall of Fame Award and 2011 NAACP Pioneer Award.

Steve Sherrill

Board Member

Steve Sherrill is the First Citizens Bank Market Executive. A graduate of Lancaster High School, he has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of South Carolina, and is a graduate of East Carolina University’s RMA Commercial Lending School. Steve has been involved throughout the community as past United Way of Lancaster County Board Chair, past Chamber of Commerce Chair, past CareHealth Board Chair, and past Junior Achievement Volunteer. Currently, he is a Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club member, serves as Vice Chair of Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority, and serves as a board member on Lancaster County Career Center’s School Improvement Council, Lancaster County Partners for Youth, Educational Foundation of USC-L, and Catawba Regional Development Corporation. Steve is married to Kelly and has a daughter McKenzie. He is dedicated to serving on Partners for Youth for as he states, “Children are our future and I am excited about serving on PFY board to help all Lancaster County youth and children excel.”

Mika Sinclair

Vice Chair

Mika Sinclair is a native of Kershaw and a 1996 graduate from Andrew Jackson High School. She went on to attend Katherine Gibbs School in NYC and then graduated from York Technical College. Mika has been employed at Founders Federal Credit Union for 11 years where she has served in many roles. She currently serves as the Financial Services Representative Specialist where she is responsible for the training and mentoring of other Financial Services Representatives. Mika has been recognized for her exceptional service and outstanding dedication to her membership with the “Think Member” award. She was also awarded for her perfect attendance several times throughout her tenure with FFCU. In 2018, she participated and graduated from the Leadership of York County program. In her personal time, she volunteers with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is active in her church. Mika and her husband, Jeremy, reside in Van Wyck and have been married for 16 years.

Anicia Stevenson

Board Member

Anicia Stevenson, a graduate of Winthrop University, is the Director of Workforce Planning & Development for Comporium, Inc. She has over 15 years of experience in talent acquisition, succession planning, career development and training. Anicia served on the Carolinas Chapter of Society for Human Resource Management Board for eight years and is a current member of the National Society for Human Resource Management. She is a long-time resident of Lancaster County and passionate about educating students on how to take advantage of every opportunity to establish a rewarding and successful career path. The mission of Partners for Youth directly coincides with this passion and Anicia is honored to serve the community in this capacity.

Sharon Novinger

Executive Director

Sharon Frain Novinger has been the Executive Director of PFY since March 2007. During her leadership she has successfully implemented and administered $6 million in federal grants that have impacted all 4K classes in Lancaster County and Clinton Elementary School; overseen the distribution of $1.3 million in scholarships for the Gear Up programs and PFY’s annual scholarships; led PFY’s involvement with a multitude of community collaborations positively impacting our county’s parents and youth; and, awarded teacher classroom grants, professional development grants, and community grants to dozens of recipients. Her dedication to education has been a constant throughout her life starting with her father as a career military training specialist and her mother an early elementary teacher. Before PFY, she was a communications director at Savannah College of Art and Design as well as led the United Way of Lancaster County. She grew up in Martinez, Georgia, is an American Leadership Fellow, Lancaster Breakfast Rotary member, and is an alumnus of St. Andrews Presbyterian University.

Past Members of our Board of Directors

  • Lori Short, Chair
  • Shana Dry
  • Annette Gause
  • Mary Barry
  • Dr. Miriam Boucher
  • Dr. LaVilla Brevard
  • Lisa Bridges
  • Dr. Pat Burns Dillard
  • Dr. Sandra Catoe, Chair
  • Hal Crenshaw, Chair
  • Tami Crenshaw
  • Janice Dabney
  • Johnny Deweese
  • Stan Emanuel, Chair
  • Dianne Evans
  • Tyrom Faulkner
  • Don Gardner, Chair
  • Tony Gilreath
  • Brandon Helms
  • Jim Howey, Chair
  • Ken Hudson, Chair
  • Mildred Kelly
  • Katherine Kirchner
  • Dr. Paul N. McKenzie
  • Janice McPherson
  • Max Melton
  • Dr. Gene Moore
  • Bobby Parker
  • Bryan Pettit
  • Jonathan Phipps
  • Jodie Plyler
  • Cheri Plyler
  • Benjamin Riggins
  • Derrick Smith
  • Brad Small, Chair
  • Stefanie Stacks, Chair
  • Marvin Starks
  • Kevin Stilwell
  • Dr. John Taylor
  • Pamela Trimnal, Chair
  • Dr. Bert Welch
  • Keeonn Wilson
  • Adrienna Witherspoon
  • Jerry Witherspoon, Chair
  • Ben Dunlap

Be a supporter

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Contact Us

Lancaster County Partners for Youth, Inc.

P.O. Box 1023
Lancaster, SC 29721

Tel: (803) 286-1465
Fax: (803) 283-2171


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