2020 Jerry Richardson
Community MVP Award Honorees
Mitch Kennedy (Presented by Coach Josh Conklin)
Mitch Kennedy was born and raised in Spartanburg. He is a graduate of Spartanburg High School, and earned a B.A. Degree in Communications from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem NC. Mitch is a passionate, goal oriented, team player that has a serve first attitude. He excels in the areas of leadership development, communications, community and human development, and customer service. With an emphasis on collective impact, he constantly seeks partnerships and collaborations.
Mitch started his career with the City of Spartanburg in June 2005 as Director of Community Relations. In February 2019, he was promoted to Assistant City Manager where he administers the city's community relations efforts, public services, communications and marketing, minority business development, and parks, recreation and special events. He enjoys working directly with the citizens and leaders of our great community.
Lexie Vick (Presented by Coach Dabo Swinney)
Lexie is a native of Clemson, South Carolina and currently serves as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Dabo's All In Team Foundation. She is a 2017 graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing. During her time as an undergrad, Lexie worked as a student assistant in the Clemson Football recruiting department, with plans to pursue a career in sports marketing. But, little did she know, God had other plans for her. During her time in the recruiting department, Lexie met and worked closely with former Director of Football Recruiting and External Affairs and current All In Team Foundation board member, Thad Turnipseed. After seeing her strong work ethic and dedication to the Clemson Football Program, Thad approached Lexie with the unique opportunity to become the volunteer student intern for the All In Foundation. During her internship, Lexie fell in love with the mission and great work the foundation was doing to support health and education issues across the state of South Carolina. Shortly after her graduation in May of 2017, Dabo and Kathleen offered Lexie the opportunity to become the first and only employee of Dabo's All In Team Foundation. Lexie is responsible for all of the Foundation's day-to-day operations and assists in the planning and execution of the Foundation's annual fundraising events. She has loved seeing the Foundation grow over these past few years, but the thing she loves most about her job is getting to help and give back to the community that she grew up in and the place that she will always call '"home”. She feels so blessed to be a part of something so much bigger than herself and knows that the best is yet to come!
Keith Johnson (Presented by Coach Clay Hendrix)
Keith was named one of the Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys in the United States by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Keith was selected to the Super Lawyers 2017, 2018, and 2019 Georgia Rising Stars list. Keith served as the first African American male president of the Augusta Bar Association, which was founded in 1895.
Keith began his legal career at the District Attorney's Office and served in that capacity before entering private practice. As a prosecutor, Keith tried numerous high level felony jury trials and obtained multiple life sentences for violent offenders. Since entering private practice, Keith has represented a wide spectrum of individuals who have been accused of criminal offenses in state and federal courts throughout Georgia and South Carolina. As a former Assistant District Attorney, Keith understands how to use that experience to provide a comprehensive defense strategy for his clients.
Prior to entering the legal profession, Keith earned a football scholarship to Furman University where he played cornerback on two Southern Conference Championship teams in 2001 and 2004. In 2008, Keith was awarded a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University. While in law school, Keith served as the Notes and Comments Editor of the Michigan State Journal of Gender Law and Received the Jurisprudence Award in Criminal Law.
DJ Swearinger (Presented by Coach Will Muschamp)
Born September 1, 1991. DJ Swearinger was born and raised in Greenwood, South Carolina. He attended Greenwood High School and played run-option quarterback, wide receiver, and safety. During his college career at the University of South Carolina, he started in 33 games with 244 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 16 passes defended, 6 interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), 4 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. He earned All-SEC honors as a senior in 2012 after starting 12 games with 79 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Swearinger is now preparing to begin his eighth season in the NFL in his most recent home with the New Orleans Saints. In 2003, Swearinger was a second-round pick by the Houston Texans, and since then he has also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and Saints. Over his career, he has made 73 starts, 298 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 14 interceptions, 42 passes defenses, nine forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and eight special teams stops. Before beginning his NFL career, Swearinger was a standout at the University of South Carolina, earning All-SEC recognition.
Off the field, Swearinger has found any way possible to give back to his hometown. Through his 2spoonz Foundation he supports underserved communities to maximize their full potential through academia and leadership development. In 2019, he hosted the first-annual DJ Swearinger Celebrity Charity Basketball Game in his home state with proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands. In April 2020, he donated 3,500 lunches to provide support during the Coronavirus pandemic. Most recently, Swearinger has hosted two golf tournaments in his hometown to raise money to continue to support his community through the 2 Spoonz Foundation. Through additional grass roots work he has sponsored the Hurricanes Youth Football Team, an annual football camp, Christmas gift giveaways and Thanksgiving dinners.
Gail Redford (Presented by Coach Buddy Pough)
Gail M. Redford is a graduate of South Carolina State University with an undergraduate and graduate degree in Counselor Education. She also received the Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from South Carolina State University. Gail is a retired educator with over thirty-five years of experience in both k-12 public education and higher education.
She has served as a high school guidance counselor and director of guidance in the Charleston County Public Schools in South Carolina. While at Trident Technical College in Charleston, she held several positions in the Students Affairs Division and established the first Disabled Student Services program in the State Technical College System. She helped organize the Disabled Student Services state peer group for service providers for the sixteen technical colleges in South Carolina.
Gail served as an Education Association with the South Carolina Department of Education, in the Offices of Special Education and Federal and State Accountability. While in the Office of Special Education, she developed a graduate course 'Counseling Students with Disabilities.' She worked with the Offices of Assessment and Special Education to coordinate a federal research assessment grant to determine appropriate tests questions for students with disabilities. Gail served as an adjunct instructor at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, South Carolina, teaching remedial English, reading and college skills courses.
A strong supporter of her alma mater, Gail is a member of the South Carolina State University National Alumni Association Greater Columbia Chapter. She has chaired and been a member of numerous committees and currently serves on the Scholarship Committee granting both academic and need-based fund to students attending South Carolina State University. For the last ten years, she has served as chair of the South Carolina State University Class of 1975, establishing an annual giving initiative. This annual giving has led the Class of 1975 to donate to its alma mater over $100,00 at their 40th and most recent 45th class reunion (COVID-19). The Class of 1975 has received the Class of Distinction award and many others over the years.
Gail is an active member of St. Martin De Porres Catholic Church. She continues to provide consultation to educational and business entities when not reading, enjoying music and gardening. She is the mother of one son, Herbert S. Fielding, Jr.