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About Our Speakers

State Representative
R - Pickens
Neal Collins is a graduate of Easley High School and has a B.A. from Furman University. Neal attended the University of South Carolina Law School where he received his Juris Doctorate (J.D.). He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Government from Harvard University Extension School. He is licensed to practice law in both North Carolina and South Carolina. He is the managing partner at The Hendricks Firm in downtown Easley, South Carolina. In 2014, Neal was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives where he continues to serve. Neal is teaching one government course at Tri-County Technical College. Neal is also an NCAA wrestling official. He has been selected to officiate the D1 National Championships in 2022, 2023, and is just returning from Kansas City yesterday officiating the 2024 championships. Neal is married with a 22 month old daughter and is a member of Easley First Baptist Church, serving as the church’s moderator.
Mayor, Travelers Rest
Co-President & CFO, Brains on Fire
Brandy Amidon is the Co-President+CFO of Brains on Fire, a creative marketing agency with offices in Greenville and Los Angeles. Brandy tows the line between what a typical CPA does in the tax and money world, while also growing and nurturing her team within a small business atmosphere. She has nearly two decades of experience leading teams towards individual and collective growth goals while leveraging her expertise in the financial sector to create stability and confidence for collective success. As Co-President and CFO at Brains on Fire, Brandy manages human resources and finances at Brains on Fire, overseeing the agency’s financial reporting, risk assessment, budgeting and planning/implementation of company-wide goals. Beyond Brains on Fire, she serves as the elected Mayor of Travelers Rest, South Carolina.  Elected as the city’s first female and youngest Mayor, Brandy currently is serving in her second term as Mayor. Prior to that she was on city council for eight years. Currently, she serves on the board for the Appalachian Council of Governments, the Community Foundation of Greenville and the Municipal Association of South Carolina. Brandy just celebrated her 21st wedding anniversary and has a nine year old daughter, who’s all sparkles and Stanleys.
Spartanburg Methodist College

Scott Cochran is in his ninth year as President of Spartanburg Methodist College.

Before leading the college, President Cochran spent nearly 30 years in executive roles in business and higher education.

President Cochran holds an economics degree from Wofford College and an MBA from Duke University. His business experience includes senior positions in finance, marketing, and international operations in the United States and internationally. In addition to serving as SMC’s president, he teaches courses in finance.

President Cochran is a Liberty Fellow and serves on the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Council of Presidents and on the Supervisory Committee for Founder Federal Credit Union. He and his wife, Teresa, have been married for 35 years and have six children and seven grandchildren.

Panel Moderator
President and Founder, Bridge Public Strategy Group

As the Executive Director of the Upstate Chamber Coalition, Jason leads the public policy initiatives for the Upstate Chambers of Commerce. To achieve our public policy goals, he fosters relationships with local elected officials and business leaders throughout the Upstate, lobbies members of the S.C. General Assembly, and works to increase the Upstate Chambers’ influence with key legislators and policy makers.

Before joining the Coalition, Jason worked for a decade as Communications Director for the South Carolina House Republican Caucus, where he was responsible for crafting the Caucus’ public message, promoting contact between members and constituents, managing the Caucus’ social media presence, and managing the Caucus’ third-party campaign operations.

Jason’s career experience also includes working as a reporter for The Greenville News. He received more than a dozen local, state, and national awards for his work during the five years he spent in media.

Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington and Lee University and is working on his MBA at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is an avid endurance athlete and long-distance triathlete who competed in more than a dozen Ironman and major marathon events. He and his wife Frances live in Greenville with their two sons.

Dive into Data.
Discover the Lost Impact.

Make Your Voice Heard

Contact your lawmakers

We encourage all inviduals to take an active role in community advocacy. Whether you are starting your advocacy journey or are a seasoned campaigner, a great next step is to contact your local lawmakers.

Speak To Ignite Positive Change in Your Community

We strive to be non-partisAn & non-polarizing

Hispanic Alliance seeks to elevate of the voice of the Hispanic community and to increase understanding of policy issues, challenges, and concerns. We strive to be non-partisan and non-polarizing while speaking out firmly. Our positions are formed upon research, seeking equity through multicultural collaboration, and a compassionate stance toward the needs and dreams common to humanity. We invite the community to join us as we learn about the needs of others, and work to make the American Dream accessible to everyone.

Learn. Grow. Share.
We are committed
to sharing
Our research

The Hispanic community in SC still lags behind in education, economic, & health outcomes. The inextricable relationship among poverty, race, education, wealth and health are evidenced by recent data at the local level. 

We invite you to know the current state of the Hispanic population in South Carolina. Discover the challenges, barriers, and opportunities for us to build a stronger South Carolina, where diversity is celebrated and all residents have equitable access to quality of life.

The Statistics

A Story of Deficits & Barriers to Prosperity

Median Income

The median income for Hispanic families is approximately $48,000 compared to $71,000 for White households.

Earning Power

The total household income for Hispanics in South Carolina is $1.6 Billion.

Equity in Education

Only 66% of the Hispanic population holds a high school diploma compared to 91% of the population in South Carolina.

Health Barriers

42% of Hispanic residents in Greenville report some form of interpretative service barrier to quality healthcare, with 49.7% noting that office visits were delayed due to waiting for interpretation services.

Potential for Future Impact

33% of the Hispanic population in South Carolina is below the age of 19

Post-Secondary Education

19.5% of Hispanic community members have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 42% of White community members

Language Access

63% of agencies in SC do not have a language access plan, while 59% of agencies solely provide resources in English.

Health Insurance

61% of Hispanics in Greenville lack any Health Insurance

Language Obstacles

87% of those whose children have no health insurance rated their English as “poor” or “average.”

Be a force for equity.

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DACA & Dreamers Infographic
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