Local businessman Jim Reynolds awarded Order of Palmetto

State Sen. John Courson, left, presents local businessman and education and workforce development advocate Jim Reynolds with the Order of the Palmetto. Also pictured is MTC president Dr. Sonny White, right. (photo provided)

State Sen. John Courson (left) presents local businessman and education and workforce development advocate Jim Reynolds with the Order of the Palmetto. Also pictured is Midlands Technical College president Sonny White (right). (photo provided)

An active member of the Midlands community has been given South Carolina’s biggest award.

Jim Reynolds, CEO of Total Comfort Solutions and longtime Midlands Technical College Foundation Board of Trustees member, has been awarded the Order of the Palmetto from the Office of the Governor. The honor is the state’s highest given to civilians and recognizes a person for lifetime achievement and exceptional service to the state and its residents.

“Over the past decade, Jim Reynolds has led statewide efforts that have dramatically improved public education and workforce development,” said Sonny White, Midlands Technical College president. “Through his efforts and leadership, he has improved the quality of life for generations of South Carolinians to come.”

The first Order of the Palmetto was given in 1971.

State Senator John Courson, on behalf of Gov. Nikki Haley, presented Reynolds with the honor on July 16, at the Midlands Technical College Beltline Campus.

Reynolds said he was surprised and deeply honored by the recognition.

“When Sonny White told me, I asked him to repeat it because it never occurred to me that I would be on that list,” he said. “The best thing about this is the confirmation that Gov. Haley, our legislators and policy makers place great value on transforming our education system so that all students graduate career, college and citizenship-ready, because that is the surest way to create jobs and good futures for everyone living in South Carolina.”

Reynolds for nearly a decade has co-chaired the New Carolina Education and Workforce Development Task Force, the only statewide forum that looks at comprehensive collaborative solutions to South Carolina’s education and workforce challenges.

The task force brought about the Education and Economic Development Act of 2005, which led to 12 Regional Education Centers being established across the state. The centers connect the business community to the education community so companies have access to qualified workers and students have access to the proper training to land them a job.

Reynolds also served as the South Carolina Chamber chairman in 2012 and helped to form Apprenticeship Carolina, a real-world training opportunity for students. He was selected as the chamber’s 2010 Business Leader of the Year based on his outstanding public service leadership.

Reynolds, in addition to bolstering the state’s business community, is involved in the future of public education as a member of the TransformSC executive committee.

“His involvement transformed into a passion for workforce development which will benefit our state for many years into the future. We couldn’t be prouder of Jim Reynolds and the work he’s done in South Carolina,” said Todd Hyneman, Total Comfort Solutions president.

Reynolds is former chairman of the Midlands Technical College Foundation Board of Trustees and has served on the board for more than 14 years. Reynolds holds a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and an MBA from the University of Virginia. He and his wife, Judy, have one daughter, Kathryn.

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