2016 Inspiring Women Celebrated
The 2016 Celebration of Inspiring Women, held the evening of Feb. 11, honored four remarkable individuals and celebrated their contributions to South Carolina and beyond. The Celebration of Inspiring Women was established in 2011 as part of the annual Women's Leadership Conference; since the program’s inception, 34 women have been recognized. The 2016 honorees are:
Jennifer Ainsworth was chosen as South Carolina's 2015 Teacher of the Year. Ainsworth is a National Board certified special needs teacher at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach. This is her tenth year working in education. She graduated in 1994 from Presbyterian College with a Bachelor of Science in special education. She is passionate about building positive relationships between general and special education students and continues to spread her message of acceptance, awareness and respect. She graduated in 1994 from Presbyterian College with a Bachelor of Science in special education.
Delores Porcher Dacosta is the regional director to U.S. Senator Tim Scott and represents him in various communities and at events throughout South Carolina. Dacosta has spent more than 20 years in public service and in the political arena, including working for three U.S. representatives and one U.S. senator. She began her career as a law enforcement officer with the Charleston City Police Department and was later appointed by the late Governor Carroll Campbell as a magistrate for the county. She earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Public Administration from Strayer University.
Minor Mickel Shaw is president of the commercial land development firm Micco Corporation and serves as chairman of The Daniel-Mickel Foundation. She is a trustee of the Duke Endowment, the Hollingsworth Funds and the Belle Baruch Foundation. She is vice chairman of the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Commission where she was instrumental in bringing Southwest Airlines to South Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Shaw has won statewide and local awards including the state of South Carolina’s Order of the Palmetto Award.
Barbara Hickman Whye leads global diversity and inclusion strategic initiatives and program investments for the Intel Foundation. Her passion for advancing STEM practices has resulted in catalytic global programs that have fueled innovation in classrooms, empowered women and under-served youth, and strengthened communities. Prior to transitioning to the philanthropic side of Intel, she spent 15 years in key leadership and project engineering roles responsible for acquiring and starting up new facilities for Intel Corporation worldwide. She received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and an MBA, both from the University of South Carolina.