Mary became executive director of the Midlands Education and Business Alliance in April 2016. Mary earned her B.A. at Georgia State University in Leadership and Group Dynamics. Her passion for education initially led her to the elementary school classroom, but later on Mary decided to focus her efforts on early childhood development during her time as a Preschool Director. It was then Mary realized the growing need to connect the business communities with its educators for a collective impact. Her emphasis became filling the gaps in education experiences for children. She has served in non-profit for ten years, is an accomplished public speaker, and has raised nearly 30 million dollars to advance the awareness of student needs and human services. Mary’s impressive skill set paired with her energy and dedication to our mission will ensure that MEBA remains the go-to resource for connecting business leaders and educators in our community.
Kay H. Barlow, M.Ed., GCDFI
Community and Parent Education
Kay Barlow is the community and parent education director for Midlands Education and Business Alliance. With more than 20 years of experience in career education, Barlow connects with Midlands parents, students, educators and employers through signature programs such as Your Child Is Job #1, Leading Ladies and Framework for Understanding Poverty.
Barlow holds an undergraduate degree from Missouri Baptist University and a master’s degree in education from the University of South Carolina. She holds professional certifications as a Bridges Out of Poverty instructor, Global Career Development instructor and A Framework for Understanding Poverty lifetime instructor. A graduate of Leadership Columbia, Barlow serves on many community and educational boards throughout the Midlands.
Lisa D. Call, GCDFI
Regional Career Specialist
Lisa Call is the Regional Career Specialists for the Midlands Education and Business Alliance. In this role she develops, coordinates and evaluates career awareness programs for elementary, middle and high school students, parents and educators. She also connects businesses and schools by developing extended learning opportunities, internships, co-ops and job shadowing opportunities for teachers and students. Prior to her work with MEBA, Call was a Marketing Education teacher for 6 years at Vidalia Comprehensive High School. Call has been with MEBA since 1999, serving as the Workforce Development Director, Regional Career Specialist and Chief Operating Officer before being named the Regional Career Specialist in August 2014.
Call is a graduate of Marshall University, College of Education, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Education 9-12. Her industry certificates include Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) and Global Career Development Facilitator Instructor (GCDFI) and she is also a certified “Bridges Out of Poverty” lifetime trainer. Call is a graduate of Leadership Lexington County and serves on several local and state boards, including South Carolina HOSA and the South Carolina Transportation Education Business Alliance.
Samantha Ericson Turner
Workforce Development Manager
Samantha Turner serves as workforce development manager for Midlands Education and Business Alliance. She works to involve businesses and industries across the 16 career clusters to plan and develop career programs, activities and resources for Midlands educators, students and parents. Turner helps develop business and education connections, fostering collaboration related to emerging careers and labor market trends as well as strategies for developing a talented and prepared workforce to meet current and future industry needs.
Turner previously worked for Columbia College, serving as director of planned giving and major gifts. She graduated from Columbia College with a BA in business administration and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in organizational change and leadership. Turner is also a certified Global Career Development Facilitator.
Linda Whitaker serves as office manager for Midlands Education and Business Alliance. In this role she prepares and updates reports, maintains databases and the website, coordinates staff development, and plans and prepares for seminars, meetings, conferences, field studies, and graduate credit courses. Whitaker manages the central office and assists MEBA’s five staff members with various duties. She has been with the Midlands Education and Business Alliance since 1993.