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Katie Wilmesherr of the Columbia Regional Sports Council

The Columbia Star of Columbia, South Carolina

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To quote the sports council's mission statement: "The mission of the Columbia Regional Sports Council is to strengthen the area's economy by marketing and selling the Columbia area as a premier destination for sporting events, partnering with local sports organizations to grow and develop existing events, and by recruiting new events that provide an economic benefit to the region by generating room nights, food and beverage sales and associated tax revenues."

Local native Katie Wilmesherr is the council's sales manager.

Wilmesherr was born at Baptist Hospital in downtown Columbia. The family home was in Lexington, where she attended Lexington Elementary, Middle, and High Schools. Her father was a SLED agent at the time she was born. He retired from SLED after 30 years of service. Her mother's career has been with AT&T. Wilmesh-err's older sister, Leigh Carpenter, lives in Lexington where she is raising her two daughters.

Beginning in elementary school, Wilmesherr studied music. She developed her skills with the piano and the flute, performing recitals in each.

While in high school, Wilmesherr played league soccer. More recently, Wilmesherr has taken up tennis, now playing competitively at the Columbia Tennis Center on Wheeler Hill with her 2.5-rated team, the Backhand Babes.

Another new athletic accomplishment for Wilmesherr is distance running. Her first half-marathon is this December at Kiawah.

For walk-around money while a freshman in high school, she worked at Simply Silver next to the Food Lion in downtown Lexington. Later she was the receptionist at Artistic Hair Design, also in downtown Lexington but this time next to the Bi-Lo.

The fall after high school, Wilmesherr enrolled at USC's Columbia campus as a nursing major, but she shifted her junior year to the business school, where she majored in marketing, and she also took a full load of courses in insurance and risk management. Her B.S. degree is in business administration. Even with the shift in majors halfway through her junior year, she managed to graduate in four years.

For her four years in college, Wilmesherr was an active member of her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. Besides always on the management team for the Dance Marathon and the Relay for Life, she was the ADPi's vice president for recruitment and for a later time period she was their treasurer. The sorority's new house in the Greek Village was funded and built during her term. Also for the full term, her academic standing was held in distinction: National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lamda Delta Honor Society, and LIFE Scholarship. Through it all, Wilmesherr came out of college with a strong combination of experiences in collaboration, cooperation, and compromise.

Wilmesherr went from school immediately into a full-time position with the S.C. Bankers Association, answering to Lloyd Hendricks, president and CEO.

After more than two years with the Bankers Association, Wilmesherr moved on to the Columbia Regional Sports Council as the sales manager. The sports council is in the same organization chart as the Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, and the Columbia Regional Visitors Center, all under the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism, where the CEO is Ric Luber.

Wilmesherr recently represented Columbia and the sports council at a convention in New Orleans, and the 2010 national convention is in Denver come April.

Beyond her office duties, Wilmesherr is a civic volunteer. She is a member of the Leadership Columbia (class of 2010), the Columbia Opportunity Resource, the USC Young Alumni Council, the Laurel Hill Board, the Young Professional Society, and the Junior League of Columbia.

Her Leadership Columbia class has proposed to rehabilitate Hannah House, a downtown Columbia women's shelter.

Copyright 2009 The Columbia Star, Columbia, South Carolina. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: October 30, 2009

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