Board of Directors Election Ballot

CFS Nominees to the Board

The Columbia Film Society is in the process of electing new members to the Board of Directors. There are six vacancies. Anyone who was a member of CFS on September 22 is eligible to vote and will receive a ballot by mail. There are eight candidates: six are nominated by the Board of Directors and two are  nominated by members. We will share the results on October 26.



  • *Nikky Finney was born by the sea in South Carolina and raised during the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Black Arts Movements. She is the author of On Wings Made of Gauze; Rice; The World Is Round; and Head Off & Split, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2011. Her new collection of poems, Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry, was published in 2020 from TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. She is the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters in Columbia at the University of South Carolina. This would be her third term as a CFS Board member.


  • *Damon C. Jeter is a native of Columbia. He was educated at Howard University and received his BS degree at the University of South Carolina. He is a Lobbyist and Executive Consultant with Jet Corp Consulting Group, LLC. He has served on Richland County Council and the Richland One School Board. Damon is married to Dr. Ragin Monteith Jeter and they have two children. This would be his second term as a CFS board board member.


  • *Hank Jibaja Hank and his lovely wife Vimarie Jibaja, live in Lexington, SC with their three young boys.  Hank is a commissioner on the Richland-Lexington Airport Commission representing Lexington County. Hank recently retired from Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation where he held a key leadership role for 22 years.  Prior to Nephron, Hank was a partner in a successful business technology consulting company.  This would be his second term as a CFS board member.


  • *Avni Gupta-Kagan has worked in education for over 20 years, as a teacher, assistant principal, professional developer, and now serves as a consultant for non-profits that are focused on issues of education equity. Avni is on the Board of several organizations focused on finding ways to develop and support youth in Columbia.  Avni and her husband, Josh, have three highly energetic children.  This would be her second term as a CFS board member. 


  • *Scottie Smith earned a BA from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. She is Senior VP at Crosland Barnes where she focuses on landlord and tenant  services in the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries in the Southeast. Scottie previously worked for Colliers International and at the S.C. House of Representatives Republican Caucus. This would be her third term as a CFS board member.


  • *Mark Cooper is Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of South Carolina where he also serves as Faculty Senate Chair. He is the author of two books on early Hollywood and co-edited Rediscovering US Newsfilm: Cinema, Television, and the Archive (2018). His PhD is from Brown University and his BA from Wesleyan University. He has served on Nick programming committees. 


  • William Olenick received his Bachelor of Music from Berklee College and his Masters in Jazz Performance from Queens College. He taught for the NYC Board of Education for 35 years and was awarded Teacher of the Year 2012 by the Yonkers Board of Education. He currently teaches trumpet at Benedict College.   


  • Alison Mc Letchie, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at South Carolina State University. Dr. Mc Letchie’s areas of research include race and ethnicity, music and religion. She has participated in panel discussions at Nickelodeon film screenings and also she brought her students from Claflin University to the Nick.