Minor Mickel Shaw: One Person's Impact on South Carolina Business, Philanthropy and Community

South Carolina CEO had the privilege and rare opportunity to catch up with philanthropist and community activist Mrs. Minor Mickel Shaw of Greenville, South Carolina. Shaw has served as President of Micco, LLC private investment company since 1999, and is the 2016 recipient of the James F. Barker Ethics in Action Award from Clemson University’s Rutland Institute for Ethics. Shaw has been inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame and has more than 30 years of philanthropic work and community service to her name. Shaw provides insights into the Greenville community and her work that has impacted all of South Carolina as Chairman of the Board and Trustee for The Duke Endowment, The Daniel-Mickel Foundation, Hollingsworth Funds, and the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Commission. In her spare time, she also serves on the Board of Directors for Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC, the Columbia Mutual Fund Group and on the Advisory Board for Duke Energy.

Shaw said, “I care deeply about giving back to our community. My parents were both active in giving back and making our community better. I’ve been involved in community work my whole life and have been honored by the opportunities I’ve had to make a difference in my community.”  

Shaw currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Trustee for The Daniel-Mickel Foundation located in Greenville, SC. The foundation was started by Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Daniel in 1948. The foundation’s mission is to provide support to effective nonprofit organizations which strengthen and impact South Carolina’s community, both economically and socially. Over the past 70 years, The Daniel-Mickel Foundation has provided funding for education, arts and culture, health and human services, and the environment, primarily to non-profit organizations in the Greenville area.

Shaw explained, “The Daniel-Mickel Foundation is a family foundation and we’ve been involved in it for many years. We support a variety of non-profit organizations through the foundation.  We have funded the areas of health and human services and redevelopment initiatives. It’s been wonderful to have a family foundation to help make a difference in our community.”

Shaw currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Trustee for The Duke Endowment located in Charlotte, NC. The Duke Endowment was founded by James Buchanan Duke in 1924 with $40 million and a mission to nurture children, promote health, educate minds and enrich spirits in communities in both North and South Carolina. In 1925, the endowment was expanded with $67 million from his estate. Today’s endowment is governed by a board of trustees who seek to fulfill the visionary genius and innovative legacy of James Buchanan Duke, one of the most renowned industrialists and philanthropists of the 20th century. The endowment has awarded over $3.4 billion in grants since its inception, including nearly $1.6 billion to Duke University. With assets of $3.35 billion, The Duke Endowment is one of the nation’s largest 501(c) (3) private foundations. 

Shaw said, “It has been quite the honor to serve on The Duke Endowment board of trustees over the years, and help fulfill James Buchanan Duke’s legacy in support of the Carolinas.”  

Shaw currently serves as Trustee and Chairman of the Board for the Hollingsworth Funds located in Greenville, SC. The Hollingsworth Funds was established by John D. Hollingsworth, Jr. in 1976 as a charitable supporting organization to support people of his adopted hometown. In 2000, Hollingsworth Funds was expanded with $290 million from his estate. Hollingsworth’s organization has awarded over $42 million to Furman University, the YMCA of Greenville, and other Greenville nonprofit organizations. Hollingsworth’s real estate also provided the Millennium Campus, the Clemson University International Center for Automobile Research, the Shops at Greenridge and the 1,100-acre master planned Verdae development.   

Shaw explained, “I’ve been on this board approximately 10 years. It’s been a wonderful vehicle to give back to the community and help fulfill Mr. Hollingsworth’s vision. Mr. Hollingsworth specified that 45% of the income should go to Furman, 10% to the YMCA of South Carolina, and the remaining 45% to the Greenville community. He also had a lot of assets tied up in his real estate throughout the state. Over the years, we’ve been able to sell some land and develop some land to create an investment portfolio that generates a regular return. We have a wonderful staff and board of trustees who work hard to carry out Mr. Hollingsworth’s vision.”

Shaw currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Trustee for the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Commission. This commission is the governance body of the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District which owns and operates the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP). The commission is made up of six members residing in both cities and appointed by the Governor for a term of six years.

Shaw commented, “I’ve served as chairman of the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Commission since 2011. The airport was opened in 1962 by Roger Milliken who served as the chair until he died in 2010. I stepped in after Mr. Milliken’s death. The Airport Commission has always embraced a long term vision for GSP in support of the upstate region. It’s really developed into a wonderful airport and serves the area very well.”

Shaw continued, “We have two exciting developments in the works for GSP. We’ve been working on a major renovation at the airport, rebuilding the airport terminal from the inside out. We’re making a major transformation and $125 million investment to be completed in early 2017.”

Shaw added, “The second announcement is a new international cargo service provided by Senator International that flies from GSP to Munich and Frankfurt, Germany and back twice a week. This is the first scheduled international air cargo service that connects the Carolinas to Europe, and is a very important announcement for the region.”

Shaw’s lifelong service to Greenville includes work in a large body of charitable and community organizations including the South Carolina Children’s Theatre, Junior League of Greenville, the United Way of Greenville, Ronald McDonald House and Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Shaw also helped launch the Roper Mountain Science Center, and chaired the United Way of Greenville, United Way of South Carolina, Community Foundation of Greenville and the Urban League of the Upstate. Shaw graduated from University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BA degree in history.

Shaw added, “I’m involved in two exciting projects for Greenville right now. I’m co-chairing the South Carolina Children’s Theatre capitol campaign to build a new home for the South Carolina’s Children Theatre.  The South Carolina Children’s Theatre is a year-round children’s theatre with a mission to educate and stimulate the minds of young people and families. The new building will allow us to expand the theatre and its reach. It is a wonderful organization that has positively affected the lives of children and families for over 30 years.”

Shaw concluded, “Planning for the second big project is underway now for the 40th annual joint meeting of the Southeast U.S. – Japan Association created in 1976. South Carolina is going to host the annual conference for the SEUS/Japan Association in Greenville next year. This will be our first time hosting this event in Greenville. We hope to have 350-400 people at the meeting, along with the delegates from the 6 other southern states that are involved. We now have 80 Japanese companies in the state which employ 14,000 South Carolinians. I’m co-chairing the event along with my co-chair from Japan. This is an exciting event for Greenville and for South Carolina to commemorate SEUS/Japan Association’s 40th year generating cultural and economic opportunities in Japan and the seven Southern states who are members of SEUS/Japan.” 

Shaw has been selected by Clemson University’s Rutland Institute for Ethics Advisory Board to receive the 2016 James F. Barker Ethics in Action Award. A dinner will be held in her honor on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at the Poinsett Club in Greenville hosted by the Rutland Institute for Ethics. Shaw will be the third recipient of this prestigious award presented by The Duke Endowment.   

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